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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Why Speed is Critical When Restoring Storm Damage

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

Where to Look

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

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

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

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

5 Ways to Prevent Mold in Business Properties

8/15/2020 (Permalink)

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

Five Ways To Help With Mold Prevention On Your Business

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

1. Know the Weather

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

2. Regular Maintenance Inspections

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

3. Make Repairs Quickly

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

4. Contact a Professional

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

5. Keep Things Clean

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

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

How Do I Maintain the Fire Sprinklers in My Building?

8/15/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

Regular Maintenance

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

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

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

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

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

3 Methods of Preventing Mold Growth

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

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

Focus On These Three Steps

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

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

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

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

The Importance of Flood Insurance

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

Flood Definition

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

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

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

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

What To Expect After a Partial Loss

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damaged apartment building. Fire loss in Wilmington, MA

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

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

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

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

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

SERVPRO Works Closely With Each Insurance Adjuster to Make Things Easier

6/18/2020 (Permalink)

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

SERVPRO Works Closely With Each Insurance Adjuster to Make Things Easier

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

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

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

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

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

What You Need To Know About Emergency Board Up Services

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

The Definition of Boarding Up

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

  • Broken
  • Cracked
  • Damaged by wind or debris

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

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

My Home Has Flooded! What Now?

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

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

Start By

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mitigation During a Water Disaster

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

Moisture Associated Risks

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

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

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

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

Understanding Mold Remediation

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

The Facts on Mold

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

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

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

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

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

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Situations Where You Need Commercial Flood Insurance

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

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

3 Situations Where You Need Commercial Flood Insurance

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

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

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

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

3 Facts About Commercial Property Insurance and Fire Damage

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

a young man in suit in his office showing an insurance policy and pointing with a pen where the policyholder must to sign Be aware of what a primary commercial property policy covers

Learn More About Coverage For Fire Damage To A Building

Owners of commercial properties should be aware of what a primary commercial property policy covers and any exclusions or limits to this policy. In most cases, separate fire insurance should not be necessary. Learn more about coverage for fire damage to a building in Burlington, MA.

1. Most General Property Policies Cover Fire
Commercial property insurance typically classifies fire as a covered peril. Business and building owners should make sure the limits of this correspond to the value of the structure and contents and the costs associated with fire restoration for a partial or total loss.

2. Limits and Exclusions Can Affect Coverage
Some policies may have low limits or exclude important types of damage, such as expenses associated with cleaning up secondary water damage or smoke damage. Business and building owners may be able to obtain additional fire insurance coverage in the form of endorsements. Depending on the extent of these limitations, a policy that provides more complete protection for a business or building could be more cost-effective.

3. Property Policies Do Not Include Interruption Coverage
Business interruption insurance can offset the expenses of continued costs such as rent and payroll or lost revenue during fire and smoke cleanup. This coverage kicks in when a business cannot safely operate in a facility and cannot temporarily relocate for the duration of restoration. Interruption insurance is an independent policy with a separate limit. Business owners should calculate average operational costs and revenue to obtain a sufficient level of coverage.
The limits of a commercial property insurance policy and any exclusions will determine whether sufficient fire insurance coverage is available for a building in Burlington, MA. Additional coverage may be available in the form of endorsements or additional policies. In the event of a fire, commercial property owners should be prepared to make a claim supported by documentation and an expert estimate.

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.

How Restoration Companies Estimate the Cost of Fire Damage Repairs

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

The tarp covers the roof of the building Roof tarping after fire damage in Burlington, MA

Many fire cleanup and restoration companies will provide an estimate for the cost of their services. Sometimes, these estimates can be vague. That is usually the case when the restoration business hires subcontractors to perform a majority of the work.
Instead, choose a full-service company in Burlington, MA, that does everything in-house. This will make the process simpler and less expensive.

First Steps

Some repairs cannot wait for the completion of the estimation process. For instance, you may have severe water damage from the firefighters' hoses or your sprinkler system. If left untreated, this could lead to mold growth.
Restoration professionals should remove any standing water from the premises as soon as possible. They may also provide other emergency services, including:

  • Roof tarping
  • Boarding up
  • Hiring security guards to prevent theft

Property Assessment

At the same time, project managers will work together to come up with an estimated cost of restoration. They will obviously consider the extent of the fire and smoke damage to the premises. They will then decide which debris must be removed, and which chemicals should be used to eliminate the stench.
An estimate should additionally feature the expenses involved in moving, storing and cleaning damaged items. The amount of money needed to rebuild any destroyed walls, doors or roofs should be included, as well.

Contacting Insurance

Ideally, the restoration business you pick will work directly with your insurance company. The cleanup experts should tell the insurer the cost of the restoration project and urge the provider to approve the work as soon as possible. The insurance adjuster may also receive a list of the items that were completely destroyed by the commercial fire. The insurer may cover the cost of replacing these assets.
In the aftermath of an emergency, time is valuable. You can't spend too long deciding which fire damage restoration company to use. Your best bet is to pick one that provides a detailed estimate and a variety of services.

Should You Purchase Flood Insurance for Your Business?

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book You should consider purchasing a flood insurance plan for your business

Floods happen for a variety of reasons and can strike when least expected. To best protect your business in Burlington, MA, from closure and help cover the costs of storm damage restoration, you should consider purchasing a flood insurance plan. Depending on where your building is located, this type of coverage may be required. Continue reading to learn more about insurance plans covering floods and whether it might be a good choice for your business.

When Is Flood Insurance Required?

You will be required to purchase insurance for flooding if your business is located in a designated high-risk flood area and your mortgage is through a federally regulated or insured lender. However, it might be a good idea to purchase a plan even if your building is located outside of one of these zones or you don’t have a mortgage. Over 20 percent of NFIP claims are from properties in areas not considered high-risk. You should consider purchasing a plan if any of the following situations apply to your business:

  • Your business is affected by melting snow
  • The area gets moderate to heavy rainfall
  • Your building is located near a dam or levee

Is Flooding Covered by Commercial Property Insurance?
Floods are one type of natural disaster that is not typically covered by a commercial insurance plan. You can purchase a separate plan for floods either through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is typically capped at $500,000, or through a private insurer. Coverage includes damage to your building and assets caused by flooding from overflowing rivers, melting snow, blocked drainage systems, broken dames, heavy rain, or other causes. The water must cover at least two acres of land or affect more than one property.
Flooding of your business can take you off guard and result in costly repairs if you don’t have a flood insurance plan. It is important to assess your risk and determine whether purchasing a plan would be a good investment for your business.

Tips to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Close up view of man using removing rotten wood from leaky roof Inspect your roof for leaks or weak points

Tips to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

No one in Woburn, MA, wants to deal with a disaster at home. Unfortunately, emergencies occur. Though you may not be able to prevent every incident in your house, there are some effective measures you can put in place to reduce the risk of water in home.

Routine Maintenance

As a homeowner, you know how important it is to keep things in good condition. Not only with regular tune-ups and check-ups help appliances and systems to last longer, but this practice allows you to identify problems before they get worse. To minimize the chances of water in home, do the following at least once a year:

  • Inspect your roof for leaks or weak points.
  • Take a look at your rain gutters and downspouts to make sure they are diverting water away from the home.
  • Inspect the plumbing system in the house.

Landscape Your Yard

Trees, shrubs and other plants not only beautify your property, but these items may even be able to prevent flooding. In addition to grading your yard properly, try planting mulch near windows. You can also use native plants to quickly soak in water from rainstorms. Trees and bushes can also help block the flow of water toward your home.

Make Repairs Quickly

If you spot a broken pipe or leaky faucet, take care of it as soon as possible. Ignoring these issues will only lead to more significant headaches down the road. If necessary, get in touch with a professional or a team of flood remediation specialists to assist you.

Try Fencing

Some properties lie in high-risk flood zones. Pipe cleanup is one thing, but it may be too late to stop flooding if a nearby canal overflows and heads to your home. Consider building a stone fence around your property to block water from invading your living space.
It's never fun to find water in home, but there are steps you can take to prevent these problems. Implement these steps today.

3 Mistakes of Mold Remediation

11/29/2019 (Permalink)

Three mold spores - 3d illustration Mold spores thrive on moisture

Most Common Pitfalls When it Comes to Mold Removal

Perhaps the only thing more frustrating than having a mold problem in the first place is hiring a mold remover only to have the fungus come back. There are several potential mistakes when it comes to removing mold, from failing to use a certified mold remover to failing to treat the entire building. Here are just a few of the most common pitfalls when it comes to mold removal in your Winchester, MA, home.

How Mold Thrives

Unlike plants that need the sun, mold is a fungus that can survive by eating dirt, biofilm and even dust. As a result, mold can survive on:

  • paper
  • wood
  • drywall

And many more materials. Hiring a mold remediation company is the first step in getting rid of it. But mistakes can happen.

Spreading Mold During Cleanup

Ironically, spreading mold spores during removal is one of the most common mistakes companies make. Certified mold removers should use methods to separate areas where they are working. Your mold cleaners should also vent air outside, preventing mold spores from drifting through your home and causing new problems.

Leaving Mold Behind

Mold loves tiny cracks and crevices that are easy to miss. Mold that’s left behind sets the stage for a new infestation. Choose a mold remediator that will inspect your home before and after treatment to nix hidden mold.

Not Being Certified

Mold certification from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) ensures a company employs the gold standards of mold removal. As a homeowner, you can rest assured that this company will avoid the above pitfalls as well as implement all of the tactics that are proven to remove mold thoroughly.
Mold removal is a skilled process that, if done right, can keep fungus at bay for good. Ensure that your mold won’t be back any time soon by choosing a certified mold remediation. company that can avoid mistakes and get your home fungus-free permanently.

3 Signs You Need to Replace Your Smoke Alarms

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Some alarm, bottom of picture it says REPLACE IT Some smoke alarms have 10 year batteries

3 Signs You Need to Replace Your Smoke Alarms

Having properly functioning smoke alarms in your Winchester, MA, home is an essential aspect of basic fire safety. These devices give you the first warning that your home is in danger in the event of a real fire. After you’ve had your fire alarm system for a while, though, it may stop working as effectively as it once did. If you notice any of the following signs, it may be time to replace the smoke alarms in your home.

1. The Alarms Are Over 10 Years Old

Like all other devices, your smoke detectors will eventually reach the point where they’re too old to work properly. To see if this is the case, simply check the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm. If at least 10 years have passed since the printed date, you’re due for a new alarm system.

2. The Alarms Fail the Monthly Test

To ensure that your fire alarm system is in top condition, you should test it at least once a month. Find the test button on the front or side of each device and hold it down for a few seconds. If the alarm doesn’t emit any sound, this is a likely indicator that the system needs to be replaced.

3. The Alarms Go Off Randomly

Your smoke detectors must do their job of alerting you of a real fire emergency before any fire or smoke damage ensues. However, if your alarms frequently go off for no apparent reason, they could be defective. To save yourself the constant noise and properly safeguard your home from danger, be sure to have new detectors installed as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, your fire alarm system may fail you unexpectedly. If you experience any signs of smoke or fire damage in your Winchester, MA, home, trust fire restoration professionals to bring it back to its normal state.

Protecting Your Windows From High Winds

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

a board over a window A qualified storm restoration company can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

High winds, whether from hurricanes, tornadoes or other severe storms, can seriously damage your Burlington, MA property. Because windows are made of glass, they are at particularly high risk. Broken glass can not only injure the home’s occupants, but also allow rain and debris inside. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect your windows during a storm.


Permanent Solutions


Permanent solutions can keep your home safe while also increasing your home’s value and decreasing insurance premiums. Storm shutters are a particularly popular option. The following are some of the most common shutter styles on the market today:

Colonial security
Accordion
Rolling
Bahama hurricane

Depending on the size of the window and type of shutter, you may spend anywhere from about $150 to $1000 on a single window.


Another, less common option, is impact-resistant windows. Because of the amount of time needed to install them, they are generally more expensive than storm shutters. However, unlike many shutters, they can make a home more energy efficient and reduce the risk of break-ins. As with all storm-protection products, it is important to research and make sure you are getting a high-quality product. The middle of a hurricane is not a good time to discover your windows cannot stand up to high winds.


Temporary Solutions


In addition to the permanent shutters discussed above, there are also temporary storm panels available. Starting at about $7 per shutter, these temporary panels are generally cheaper than their permanent counterparts. An even more economical option, at about $1 per square foot, is plywood. Although these temporary options provide good protection during a storm, they generally do not affect a home’s resale value or insurance premiums. Nonetheless, they may be appropriate for homes that are generally not affected by strong storms.
Unfortunately, even the most well-prepared houses can still suffer damage from high winds. A qualified storm restoration company can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

3 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Commercial Bathroom

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

a toilet If you have a persistent problem with bathroom mildew, you may need to hire a professional mold remediation service to remove it.

Mold is a fungus that can grow in a variety of locations, and your Burlington, MA home is not an exception. You may find that areas with more water use are more likely to develop this issue. This is why bathroom mildew is a common problem for property owners . The good news is that there are several tips you can use to help prevent the occurrence of this fungus.


1. Reduce Humidity Levels


If you have a humidity problem, then mold is more likely to grow. Using hot water, particularly during a shower, can contribute to this. Many bathrooms have a built-in fan to help reduce steam, but if yours doesn’t, an open window can serve the same purpose. You may also want to invest in a dehumidifier.


2. Dry Items After Use


Because mold spreads more quickly in moist environments, leaving your sinks and showers to dry on their own may not be a good idea. If you have a history of mold growth in your home, then you should consider using a towel or sponge to dry any surfaces after use. Do not leave wet towels or clothing in the area for an extended period.


3. Regularly Maintain the Area


Another way to reduce bathroom mildew is to make sure that you are doing maintenance on a regular basis. An important part of this is checking for leaks. Leaky pipes or faucets can cause mold to grow in the area. You should also make sure to clean often. This can kill mold spores and prevent them from spreading and forming excessive growth.
Mold can be more difficult to remove once it has begun to grow, so you should do what you can to prevent it from forming. They can perform an inspection to check for fungus growth in other parts of the house as well.

Repairing a Roof After a Major Storm

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

a roof with shingles missing Bad weather is a roof’s enemy, and it can mean major headaches for a homeowner.

If you are a homeowner in Woburn, MA who hasn’t had a roof inspection in years, you know the anxiety of a thunderstorm forecast. It can mean leaking, hail damage or even repairs to attics and ceilings. Particularly for severe weather, but also for lighter rain, it’s essential that you know the status of your roof and when shingles need to be replaced. The following steps will help you manage the roof repair process after a large wind or hail storm.


1. Prevention


If you’ve already experienced the weather event that caused damage, you can skip this step and learn from the error. Otherwise, keep in mind that mitigating the risk is the best way to avoid large bills. Get a regular roof inspection to identify weak areas. Many roofing companies will do a free assessment, and small repairs can help fix issues that would otherwise compound quickly.


2. Attic/Ceiling Drying


At this point, the storm has passed and you are looking at the results. Perhaps there is evidence of wetness on your ceiling, or even more ominous, actual water pooling in an attic area. The first action to take is to begin drying out items. If the flooring is wet, you should contact a professional remediation company to check for mold. Move anything you are able, such as boxes or furniture, to a well-ventilated area to dry out.


3. Roof Repair and Insurance


The next obvious step is to check for roof damage, but before contacting company to do the roof repair, call your insurance professional. They will be able to walk you through the process by giving you an idea of the deductible you will pay and what documentation you need to provide. If there is extensive hail or wind damage, there might be cause for a complete replacement, so following the proper process with insurance can help you avoid major expenses.


Have your roof regularly inspected for weaknesses. In the event you have leaking, immediately dry the ceiling and attic and contact your insurance company to begin fixing the problems.

Do I Need a Mold Hygienist?

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

grey and black discoloration on a yellow wall Hiring an industrial hygienist may sound extreme, but the investment is more than worth it.

Visible mold is easy enough to spot - furry, black and generally appearing in bathrooms and wherever else moisture gathers. But one of the biggest threats comes from the mold that’s hiding in your walls, vents and other unseen areas in your home. Air sampling is one way you can figure out where spores are beginning to multiply and there are plenty of do it yourself air sampling kits on the market. But an industrial hygienist is the best choice to get the testing that makes for an effective mold cleaning strategy. Learn more about hygienists and how they can help improve your Burlington, MA home.


About Air Sampling


One of the first steps to getting rid of mold is recognizing its presence. That involves taking air and surface samples. Industrial hygienists specialize in taking those types of samples which are then analyzed by a lab loo

king for materials that are:

Allergenic
Pathogenic
Toxigenic

Once your hygienist gets an understanding of the mold type and level of infestation, you’re on the way to mounting a good mold cleaning effort.


Can I Do This Myself?


It’s not hard to find DIY air sampling on the market. But while using one may save you money in the beginning, it can cost more in the long run. Such kits are prone to user error, and are known for providing misleading results. For instance, if a kit is not sensitive enough, it will miss specific concentrations of mold - failing to identify areas where infestation is heaviest. The result can be mold damage later on.


These professionals can provide a thorough analysis of the air in your home, setting the stage for the proper mold remediation plan and an end to your fungus problems. Call SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn today! 

What Are Your Options for Storm Shutters for Your Home?

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

A brick wall and windows with rolling shutters Storm shutters can often help to protect your home from damage.

What Are Your Options for Storm Shutters for Your Home?

High winds can cause devastating damage to homes in Wilmington, MA, and homeowners often want to know how to protect their homes from windstorms. Storm panels can help to protect your home in a storm, but with so many louvers available, it can be useful to know the differences between common types of shutters.

1. Accordion Storm Louvers

Accordion storm louvers are a popular option for many homeowners. To use accordion storm louvers, as their name suggests, you fold and unfold the panels manually. These panels remain attached to your home's window when not in use and are easy to unfold when preparing for a storm. Accordion panels also come in a variety of attractive styles and are relatively affordable at $15 to $25 per square foot.

2. Storm Panels

Unlike accordion storm louvers, storm panels are not meant to be permanent structures on your home. Rather, storm panels are meant to be used only when there is a risk of high winds. These panels can be made from a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum or polycarbonate. When not in use, you can easily remove these panels from your windows. Though storm panels won't stay on your windows year-round, they are an affordable option at $7 to $15 per panel.

3. Colonial Security Louvers

Colonial security storm shutters are placed by windows outside and are permanent features on the exterior of a home. Generally, colonial security louvers are made out of aluminum or hardwood. Colonial security louvers are one of the most costly types of louvers on the market at $200 to $500 per window. However, these sturdy louvers can be multipurpose, offering protection from winds, privacy and providing homes with a charming, unique aesthetic.

Though a mitigation and restoration company can help you restore your home after it has been damaged by high winds, shutters can often help to protect your home from damage. Knowing the differences between common storm shutters can help you to keep your home safe by choosing the right panels at the right price point for your home.

3 Reasons To Mitigate Your Flooded Crawlspace

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

a man in a crawlspace Taking care of a flooded crawlspace after a storm can protect your belongings and your whole home.

A home flood after a storm in Woburn, MA can affect many areas of your house. You may see damage near the foundation or in your storage areas. There are several reasons not to ignore a flooded crawlspace.


1. Avoiding Mold Growth


A mold problem can develop very quickly after your home has taken on storm damage. It can take as little as 24-48 hours for spores to settle and grow in areas that have excess moisture. By having your crawlspace professionally mitigated after a flood, you can protect your home from this invasive type of secondary damage.


2. Preserving Structural Integrity


When building materials get wet, they may be compromised. If they sit in water from a home flood for too long, they may start to break down. You may not think of your crawlspace as an integral part of your home's overall structure, but weakened materials in this area can have an effect on the structural integrity of your whole house. This can be especially true if the unchecked water damage spreads to adjacent rooms.


3. Using the Space


Chances are, you use your crawlspace for storage or extra insulation. When it floods, you lose that space until flood mitigation specialists have a chance to perform remediation. By calling in the experts quickly, you can get a better idea of what items have to be discarded and replaced and what items can be saved. Certified technicians from the restoration company have the expertise and equipment needed to make your crawlspace useful again. They can even advise you on how to protect the area from future flooding.


When you have a home flood, it's important to inspect every area of your home that could have been affected. Just because the damage isn't in a space you regularly use, that doesn't mean mitigation should be delayed. 

5 Tips To Protect Your Home from Storm Damage

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

a house with a blue tarp It's important to frequently inspect your home for any water damage.

If you live in Woburn, MA then storm damage from flood water may be concerning. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to alleviate any potential problems. Here are five tips for protecting your home from the destruction caused by unexpected storms.


1. Know the Local Weather


Keeping an eye on your local weather patterns is one way to help protect your house. This will allow you to take any necessary mitigation steps before a large wind or rainstorm arrives.


2. Maintain Drainage


Another way to help prevent a flooded building is to preserve the drainage systems around the home. This not only includes ensuring that they are sloped away from the building's foundation but also keeping them clear of any debris that could cause water backup.


3. Install a Sump Pump


You may also want to consider the purchase of a sump pump. These machines are designed to move flood water out of areas such as basements, where they could pool and cause structural issues.


4. Inspect the Building Regularly for Damage


This will allow you to identify potential problems quickly and take the proper repair steps. Common areas susceptible to destruction from storms include the roof, edges of the foundation, and window perimeters.


5. Make Repairs Quickly


If you do find water damage, it's important to contact your local restoration and cleanup service for help with necessary renovations. Completing your repairs quickly can help prevent further damage that could result from allowing water to sit in the house.


When protecting your home from possible flood water damage, it's important to remember these five important suggestions. Pay attention to local weather patterns, keep drainage areas clear of debris, and take mitigation steps, such as the installation of a sump pump, before the storm arrives. You may also want to regularly inspect for signs of damage and make repairs to any problems you find as quickly as possible.

4 Things You Should Not Do After a Flood

11/7/2019 (Permalink)

a background of a flood with the words flood damage It is important to consider the safety of you and your family as well as the state of your home.

If your home has been affected by flood water after a storm in Burlington, MA then you may be unsure of how to proceed. The following are some things that you should avoid in this situation.


1. Do Not Wait to Call Your Insurance Company


Water damage caused by the storm should be reported to your insurance agent right away. Many policies have a specified period of time after damage has occurred during which you can make a claim. If you wait too long, your claim could be denied.


2. Do Not Leave Water in Your Home


Flood water can cause mold growth and other problems if it is not removed quickly. Mold can begin to spread in as little as a day. However, because this water is highly contaminated, it is not a good idea to attempt to remove it on your own. Call a professional company instead, and always wear protective clothing and gloves if you need to be around the water.


3. Do Not Use Electricity


Using electricity in a flooded home can be extremely dangerous. To prevent any accidents, you should turn off the power to your house. Do not attempt to turn off or unplug individual items since this can cause a spark. Instead, use the breaker to turn the building’s electricity off.


4. Do Not Attempt to Drive


While you may not want to stay in your house after a flood, particularly if it has been damaged, traveling right after the storm can be dangerous. If the roads are flooded, you could easily lose control of the vehicle. The water could cause damage to the engine as well. Instead, listen to the news and wait for confirmation that it is safe to drive.


If you have flood water in your home, contact a professional cleanup and restoration service to take care of it for you. They can remove the water from the building, clean the area and make any necessary repairs.

What To Do After a House Fire

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

a graphic that says are you covered SERVPRO can help you with every step of the fire restoration process.

There will be a lot to do after a house fire in Burlington, MA. The fire restoration process may be long and complex, but the following steps provide a brief outline of what to do after the fire has been extinguished.

Make sure everyone is safe. Treat any injuries that you, your family or pets have. Try to keep everyone calm. If you cannot return to your home, find somewhere else to stay for a while.


Call your fire insurance company. Let them know that you have suffered a house fire. They may have specific instructions for what to do next.


Board up any broken windows or other openings. In order to protect your home from criminals or bad weather, cover any openings with plywood or tarpaulin. Understand that after the house has been boarded up, it is harder for the toxic particles leftover from the fire to escape. Therefore, it is important to wear a respirator mask and take any other necessary precautions when you go back into your home.


Assess and document the damage. When you are able to re-enter your home, take photographic or video evidence of the damage before beginning any fire restoration efforts. Make sure the pictures or video are as detailed as possible. List any items that are not salvageable along with their purchase date and purchase price.


Remove water. It is important to dry up any water from the fire-extinguishing efforts as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth.
Clean up smoke and soot. Unfortunately, smoke goes everywhere after a fire and tends to linger. However, there are numerous smoke cleaning options available, including thermal fogging and ozone treatments.
Repair and replace damaged items. With modern technology, many fire-damaged items can be restored to their pre-fire condition.


Build a Solid Envelope Around Your Building

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

a wood frame of a house The tools of building an impermeable barrier to prevent rain damage are many.

Water has an amazing ability to find its way into commercial buildings and cause rain damage. An opening as small as 0.005 inches is all that is needed. This is especially true during a large storm where heavy rainfall and flooding find the weaknesses in a building's exterior. As the frequency and intensity of storms seem to increase in Woburn, MA a renewed emphasis on preparedness makes good business sense. A water tight building does more than protect your assets from damage. It could save lives in extreme storms. It also builds a sense of security in your employees. Additionally, a well-maintained building allows you a high degree of confidence when the next bad weather is headed your way.


How To Create a Water Tight Building


The concept of a building envelope is central to keeping water out of a building. The idea is that everywhere that water can enter a building is accounted for. This covers the following areas:

Roofing
Walls
Foundation
Windows
Grounds
Plumbing systems

Regular inspections can identity problems areas. The targeted use of sealants on roofs and windows add extra protection from water seepage. Preventative maintenance such as repairing torn shingles and wall cracks eliminate avenues for water to enter. The presence of workable and clean gutters and downspouts, as well as drainage techniques such as roof drains and landscaping, keep water from pooling around the foundation. Reducing moisture and humidity in your building protects against black mold forming.


How To Prepare for a Big Storm


It's smart to have a list of emergency contacts in Woburn, MA if water damage occurs to your commercial building. It's nice to know a water remediation team is close by that is Here to Help. Experienced professionals that are Faster to Any Size Disaster can assist you in dealing with rain damage, black mold and other issues that arise.

Prepare Your Building Exterior From Storm Damage

11/2/2019 (Permalink)

lightning A strong exterior may save lives and property from a large storm.

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 Burlington, 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 Burlington, 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.

How Long Do Commercial Generators Last?

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

a large white 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 a disruption of electricity would be disastrous. They often will have a heavy-duty automatic transfer switch that will react immediately when your business in Burlington, MA experiences a power outage. Here’s a quick description about 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 it, 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 Burlington, MA you need a professional storm cleanup company to come in immediately so they can tarp and board the location to protect remaining assets. They’ll remove any floodwater and excess moisture and quickly begin to restore your business to its normal state.

Important Differences Between Flood Damage and Storm Damage

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding with a orange road block If you are located in a high-risk area, you can purchase flood insurance through the federal government.

With the number and intensity of extreme weather events increasing, home and business owners are increasingly at risk for water damage. If water from flooding or another source has affected your Burlington/Woburn business, understanding the differences between flood damage and stormwater damage will inform how you approach the cleanup and restoration process.


What Is Stormwater Damage?


When water from a weather event enters your building via certain entry points, it is considered stormwater. The water must enter the structure prior to contacting the ground, such as in the following examples.

Water from heavy rain or melting snow leaks in through your roof.
Rainwater enters through a damaged roof vent.
Ice damming prevents water from draining properly and it leaks into your building.
Hail breaks a window and stormwater enters through the broken window.

These are just a few ways stormwater can cause water damage. Generally, storm damage will be covered by your business insurance policy. It is smart to contact your insurance agent early on to discuss your coverage. Once stormwater hits the ground, it becomes floodwater, which is covered differently by insurance.


What Is Floodwater Damage?


The primary difference between flood damage and stormwater damage is determined by the original entry point of the water. If it enters your building from ground level or below, whether it is caused by a weather event or not, it is considered floodwater.
Floodwater damage can be the result of severe weather events or municipal, structural failures, such as dam breaches or water main breaks. Floodwater bears the highest level of water contamination as it can contain sewage, toxic chemicals and other unknown hazardous materials. The cleanup requires trained water remediation experts and can be time-consuming and costly. Your business insurance will generally not cover flood damage. 


When water damage from flooding or another source affects your business, it can be unsettling and costly. Assessing the type of damage you have will help you determine a strategy for restoring your property and returning your company to business as usual.

The Dirty Nature of Flood Water

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

flood water outdoors with an orange and white road block One of the scariest events a company can encounter is the inundation of its property with flood water.

In recent years, floods have been in the news a lot as storms and heavy rainfall have hit sections of the country. If this should happen in Burlington, MA there are several things a company can do to prepare for this serious situation. First, a company should always know an experienced and reputable commercial storm team to contact in case of an emergency. Second, a program of education for employees on storm damage can increase the safety of all. Employees should know that water from a flood often contains contaminated water and should be avoided at all costs.


The Definition of Black Water


Flood water is labelled a category 3 event, which means it could contain materials dangerous to human health. The water from a flood may have the following substances present:

Raw sewage
Dangerous chemicals
Potential carcinogens
Harmful viruses and bacteria
Abrasive materials such as asbestos

To clean up contaminated water, workers should wear personal protective equipment and should be trained in the correct procedures. The standards for cleaning dirty water are spelled out in professional manuals that provide a framework for all cleanup activities. These standards promote effective and safe cleanup across the spectrum of storm damage to commercial buildings.


The Definition of Clean Water


A water leak that is from a known source could be clean water that does not pose a threat to human health. This typically includes leaks and spills from potable water and it usually has a clean look and minimal odor. A category 2 water leak is known as grey water and may originate from a source of household water that has been lightly used. Examples include dish water or a leaking water heater.
Because flood water is potentially hazardous, its cleanup should be left to the professionals in Burlington, MA. It's the best way to ensure a complete and healthy cleanup.

Key Differences Between Mitigation and Restoration

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water on the concrete floor of a room This process will take longer, especially when the flood has damaged the structure.

No business leader wants to think about the consequences of a flood raging through the office building. However, this is something every business should prepare for. There are steps any business can take to minimize damage, speed up the recovery process and resume normal operations as quickly as possible. Choosing the right flood cleanup company is essential. The best crews will divide the cleanup efforts into two parts: mitigation and restoration. It's helpful to understand these processes and how they differ from one another.
Elements of a Good Restoration and Mitigation Team
Before hiring a flood cleanup company, you should understand what qualities make up the right selection. This is too important of a job to trust to just anyone. The more qualified company you hire, the sooner you can get your business back on track. Look for the following characteristics:

Experience
Fast response
Good communication
Strong reputation

Mitigation
This is the first step the company will take when it comes to your Woburn, MA business location. The team will survey the extent of the damage and formulate a cleanup plan. Mitigation involves making sure the flooding has stopped. The crew will also clean up water damage during this process. This includes removing standing water, cleaning floors, walls, ceilings and belongings such as furniture and documents. Though flood damage can be significant, the mitigation portion is the faster of the two.


Restoration


If water damage has rotted out drywall or left mold in the facility, complete rebuilds may be required. The restoration company may have to replace the roof and other portions of your building. If there are any materials that the company cannot salvage during mitigation, restoration will have to take place.
Make sure you hire a flood cleanup company that will handle both mitigation and restoration. Though the process can be long, it will be comprehensive.

Home Fire Preparedness: The Basics

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

two red fire extinguishers Implementing a plan that combines the three areas of fire preparation can give you the best edge against structure and property damage.

Home Fire Preparedness: The Basics

No one thinks a fire will happen in their home, yet emergency services respond to over 300 thousand residential fires each year. The potential for fire to cause catastrophic damage makes fire preparation essential for homeowners. If you are interested in creating or improving your plan, this discussion about the three general categories of fire preparedness may help you.

Fire Prevention

A solid prevention plan can be your best strategy for addressing fire risk in your Woburn, MA home. Consider these preventive measures.


Maintaining your furnace annually, and changing filters monthly
Inspecting natural-gas lines for leaks annually
Inspecting your electrical system annually
Cleaning gas dryer vents and heat vents annually
Making sure lit smoking implements and candles are always attended
Keeping your cooking range free of grease


Your local fire restoration specialist will generally be happy to visit your home to make additional preventive suggestions specific to your structure and environment.

Early Detection

No amount of home fire preparation completely eliminates risk. If you do have a fire, early detection is crucial for minimizing injury and property damage. Your smoke detectors provide this important function, by sounding as soon as smoke is detected. To ensure proper operation, it is recommended that every six months you change smoke detector batteries and vacuum the outside of each unit, which will clear any lint or dust.

Fire Readiness

Your ability to respond quickly to a fire is key. More time can mean more damage. If your home is equipped with fire sprinklers, your readiness level is very good. For small fires, a fire extinguisher may be effective, as long as you have pre-read the instructions and can operate it properly. Placing several extinguishers in key locations works well. Having quarterly fire drills is also strongly recommended so that your family is aware of fire safety and knows how to evacuate in a fire emergency.

Proper planning can mean you and your family never have to face the life-altering experience of a home fire.

Choosing the Right Smoke Detector

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

a smoke detector Regardless of which is best for your needs, a smoke alarm is not something to forget about.

If a fire breaks out in your Burlington, MA home, a working smoke alarm is your first line of defense to get everyone out safely. If the fire happens while everyone is sleeping, the chances are high that it would go undetected without a warning system. Choosing the right alarms, as well as the right number, can make all the difference.


How Many Alarms Should a Home Have?


Every home is different, but every family should have a fire safety plan. Part of that plan should include determining how many alarms are needed. A good rule of thumb is to have a smoke alarm on every floor of the home, especially in and around bedrooms. The bigger the house, the more alarms that will be needed.


What Kind of Alarms Are Available?


Not every smoke detector is the same. There are actually two main kinds:

Ionization – These used ionized particles to detect smoke. They have electrically charged plates connected through a current. When smoke disrupts their connection, it triggers the alarm. These typically detect high-flame fires.
Photoelectric – These use a light sensor instead of ionization to detect smoke. It is triggered when the smoke particles block the sensors. These typically detect smoke faster, especially in cases of a smolder fire.

Fire detection has come a long way and become more affordable. While either kind is better than not having anything, the best option is to have a few of each for maximum coverage.


Types of Connections


Depending on your home, there are options for battery-powered or hard-wired detectors. Battery usage is low on the former, but it does mean that extra precautions must be taken to ensure batteries are regularly replaced. The latter are directly connected to the electrical system, making them more reliable if you are prone to forgetting about detector maintenance.


Modern times have also welcomed the addition of smart detectors. Similar to how a smart thermostat works, these give you instant connectivity to your system. Many also include carbon monoxide detection. These are available in both battery or hard-wired, but they do tend to cost more than traditional models.


Fires can happen anytime, so being prepared is key. A professional can help you choose the right option and provide assistance in case of a fire. Visit https://www.SERVPROburlingtonwoburn.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration for more information on fire cleanup

Safe Alternatives to Candles When There’s No Electricity

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

3 white candles Inexpensive and effective candle alternatives are readily available.

When your home in Woburn, MA loses power, candles are typically one of the go-to light sources. But they can pose a lot of safety hazards. They are not very practical because they must be carefully placed and closely monitored. Besides, the light they produce is very dim. Be prepared for your next outage by choosing from the many cordless candle alternatives.


1. Flameless Candles


These candles are generally battery powered. Many of them give off the same amount of light as a normal candle, so they won’t be very practical if you need more brightness. They are great for everyday use for ambient illumination and will provide a convenient, quick light source in an outage.


2. String Lights


Battery-powered string lights, like flameless candles, are good for everyday use and decoration. However, they aren’t very cost-effective.


3. Table Lamps


Table lamps aren’t usually thought of as cordless, but there are some good battery-operated options available, and many are rechargeable. They are good candle alternatives because, unlike most candles, they will give off enough light for reading or other tasks.


4. Emergency Power Failure Lights


These bright LED lights are designed to stay plugged in a charging station so that they are always ready to go. They automatically turn on when your home’s power goes out. Most of them can also be used as a flashlight.


5. Lanterns


Camping lanterns are perhaps one of the best options for a power outage due to their portability and versatility. You can find some that are multi-powered with a solar, hand crank, or rechargeable option, and most have bright LED bulbs. They often last days on a single charge.


They can mean the difference between safely getting through a power outage or experiencing a major disaster as a result of a candle fire. If your house does sustain any harm from a fire, you can feel confident when hiring fire damage cleanup professionals to return it to its original state. Visit https://www.SERVPROburlingtonwoburn.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration for more information on fire damage restoration

How Inspectors Find Bathroom Leaks

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Plumber fixing a bathtub A bathtub leak can cause extensive damage

When your home in Burlington, MA, is inspected by professionals, one place they look for potential damage is in the area surrounding your bathroom. A bathtub leak can cause a lot of problems before it's discovered because most of the damage happens in places you don't normally look. If you know the signs of damage professional inspectors look for, you are better equipped to find issues on your own.

Common Locations

Identifying a shower pan leak early allows you to call water remediation experts before the problem gets out of hand. Inspectors look for problems in the areas surrounding the bathroom:

  • Sagging or damaged wood in the crawlspace beneath the bathroom
  • Water damage on the bottom of walls in adjacent rooms
  • Dark spots on the ceiling under the upstairs bathroom

A leak in the bathroom tends to affect the areas around it, so it makes good sense to look at those areas first.

Faulty Components

If every part isn't working properly, a shower or bathtub leak is likely to happen. Old shower pans can crack, and new shower pans are sometimes installed improperly. Loose grout or cracks can allow water to seep behind the tiles in your shower and flood the supporting wall. A loose shower head or faucet can cause not only the drips you can see but also hidden leaks. As you fix these problems, check to make sure there is no water damage behind them.

Functionality Issues

If the shower isn't functioning properly, you may have a clog or a leak somewhere. You can test the functionality of the shower pan by covering the strainer in the drain and filling up the tub with water. This helps you identify leaks. You can remove the strainer and apply water directly down your drain through a hose to test the integrity of your pipes. If no signs of water damage appear, you are probably in good shape.
A bathtub leak can cause extensive damage. You can prevent it by catching the leak early with regular inspections.

3 Things You Should Know About Water Damage

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

a copper pipe with water coming out of several different areas SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn can return your home to its previous condition, no matter what kind of water was involved.

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.

Keeping Your Pets Safe During a Fire

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Cute border collie puppy with an emergency kit Remember to include your pet in your emergency plan

Facing a fire in your Woburn, MA, home is a serious situation. Your first priority is your own safety and that of your family members. If you have pets, you’re also concerned about their welfare during a fire emergency. Fortunately, there are ways you can include them in your evacuation efforts.

Make Pets a Part of Your Plans

Every family should have an escape plan in the event of a house fire. Every member of the family should have a role and be aware of what to do the moment someone detects smoke or flames. As you run through your evacuation strategy, take your pets with you. A good plan includes:

  • Determining exits in all areas of the house.
  • Having a gathering place a safe distance outside of the home.
  • Practicing the evacuation consistently.

Keep Pets Away From Open Flames

Pet preparation in the event of a fire is much like preparing young children. Like kids, pets will be curious around flames. This means you should be careful where you place candles. Make sure they are high so pets can’t reach them. Also, never leave a candle unattended, especially if you retire for the night. If you spot an open flame anywhere, put it out as soon as possible so the pet doesn’t spread it.

When You’re Gone

If you have to leave your pet for the day or longer, make sure you have someone you trust to keep an eye on them. If necessary, keep the pet in a crate or kennel. This is important for pet safety, especially for younger animals. Make sure there are no fire-starting hazards within the pet’s reach.

Kitchen Tips

Stove and oven fires are common, and pets are not immune from starting them and creating a fire emergency. If your pet has access to the kitchen while you’re gone, remove stove and oven knobs or cover them up.
Protect yourself and your pets from a fire emergency. If you need further tips, consult a fire cleanup and restoration specialist.

4 Things To Remember After a Partial Loss Fire

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Flames in an office with storage boxes stacked SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn is equipped with fire damage restoration experts.

As a business owner, you are required to file a partial loss insurance claim if a fire has damaged your Woburn, MA property but has not caused total fire loss. These claims can become confusing, especially when having to explain to insurers how your property is no longer the same. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to handle them for the full recovery of your belongings. Here are four things to keep in mind as your recover from a partial loss fire.

1. Search for hidden damage. There could be a significant amount of smoke damage to your building after a fire. Checking for ashes and adequate air quality is vital to the safety of you and your employees. There is also the possibility of water damage if the fire department used a hose to douse the flames. Along with water damage comes the need to check for mold, which can be a hazard as well.

2. Check for proper cleaning methods. No one knows your commercial property better than you do, so conducting a thorough examination of your own is essential when trusting other people with repairs. Even with the help of certified professionals, small details can go overlooked. Remember that, as the owner of the insured property, you are entitled to a complete fire restoration cleaning.

3. Treat your adjusters well. Insurance adjusters are often overworked and underpaid for the work that they do. Cleaning up the aftermath of a fire loss is the task of a hero, but these laborers often go unnoticed. Therefore, it is important to prevent delays. One way of doing so is by encouraging the workers with snacks or thank you cards.

4. Fortify the reproduction of your property. Adjustments should not only fix what was damaged but should also fix other elements to guarantee uniformity. Uniformity means that if one carpet got switched due to water damage, the other carpets should ideally get switched as well.

Even a partial fire loss is difficult. Remembering these four tips will make the adjustment process a lot easier as you work toward total restoration of the property.

Here to Help

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Stoneham, Wakefield, Reading and North Reading commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Stoneham/ Wakefield

SERVPRO of Stoneham/ Wakefield specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a damaging event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

We are HERE to Help, Call Us Today – 781-935-8222

Flooded Basement Tips

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

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."

If you see mold, Contact us Today

3/30/2019 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

Stay out of affected areas.

Turn off the HVAC system and fans.

Contact SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

Don’t touch or disturb the mold.

Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.

Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.

Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 781-935-8222

24 Hour Emergency Service

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 781-935-8222

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

When Mold Invades Your Home or Business

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

WHY SERVPRO?

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See or Smell Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (781) 935-8222. 

We are an IICRC Certified Firm

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Mold Damage Emergency Tips

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

What you can do until help arrives

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.

Have a Mold Problem? Call Today 781-935-8222

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional for mold remediation services.

What NOT to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

Sewerage Clean Up

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

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 have specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminants like sewage.

Toilet Overflow or Sewer Backup?
Call Today 781-935-8222

Water damage can be classified by the 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 leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on 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.

  • 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 are 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.

Fire Damage Emergency Tips

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

What you can do until help arrives

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? 
Call 781-935-8222

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Your Guide to Roof Repair After Hail and Heavy Winds Damage Your Shingles

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Hail Damage to asphalt roof

Everyone loves a good end-of-summer storm, but when the nights grow cooler and the winds grow stronger, those nice summer storms turn into damaging tempests. Hail, heavy winds and torrential rains may be exciting to watch from within, but they're harmful to a home's structure. If your roof was recently the victim of hail and wind damage, you may be able to get away with a small roof repair—or you may be forced to invest in roof replacement. A quality inspection can give you an indication of which you will need:

  • Have your roof tested to determine its existing condition and life expectancy.
  • Have a moisture survey of your roof done.
  • Let a professional roofer assess the extent of the damage—is it just a patch or it is the entire roof?
  • Request a weather impact condition report to see if your roof was even subject to the hail.

When searching for a roofing company, make sure that it offers each of the above services.

Adding Duct Cleaning to Your House Cleaning List

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Very often, when a fire or smoke damage occurs, the air ducts in your home can be affected. Here is some information on getting them cleaned from Home Advisor: The cost of cleaning your air ducts is determined by the size of your air duct system and the extent of contamination. On average, homeowners spend between $265 and $471, with $352 being the national average.

Did you know that cleaning your ducts and vents can help airflow and increase energy efficiency? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), keeping your air ducts and vents clear can increase energy efficiency and indoor air quality. While the cost to clean ducts and vents might sound high, the benefits to homeowners?especially those sensitive to allergens?is worth considering.

When looking to have your ducts cleaned, or any other part of your home, for any reason, give SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn a call (781-935-8222)! We are here to help you make it "Like it never even happened."

What to Do if You Find Mold

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

mold on walls

When there's a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, your SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a "typical" mold removal process.

Call 781-935-8222 for help with your mold remediation needs.

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Inspection and Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic    mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Sensing Water In Your Home That You Can't See

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor  air quality  issues  over time.

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals.

  • Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and Moisture Meters (pictured) are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn can calculate and create an environment most conclusive to drying.
  • When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
  • Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach
  • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based produces by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor­ causing particles.

What is the bottom line? SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn (781-935-8222)) has the training and equipment to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Make Sure This Fun Night Is Safe For Kids!

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

 HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS

Walk Safely

  1. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  2. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. 
  3. Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  4. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  5. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to
    the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  6. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat With an Adult

  1. Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe

  1. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  2. Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  3. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. 
  4. When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. 

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  1. Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  2. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  3. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  4. Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  5. Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  6. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours

Emergency Fire Tips

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over

The first 48 hours after fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. We provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.

  • Limit movement to prevent further damage
  • Place clean towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances with light coating of petroleum jelly
  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO®
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO®
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water damage without consulting a repair service.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet
  • Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

So before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at (781) 935-8222. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has worked for over 40 years to help make fire damage “Like it never even happened."

Wildfire Tips

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Wildfires can occur at any time throughout the year, but the potential is always higher during periods with little or no rainfall.

A wildfire can occur anywhere-in fact, in 2014, wildfire occurrences were  recorded in all 50 states. What is a wildfire? It is an unplanned, unwanted fire burning in a natural area, such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. A wildfire can destroy homes, businesses, agriculture, and damage natural resources while threatening the safety of the public and the firefighters who protect our forests and communities.  Wildfires can occur at any time throughout the year, but the potential is always higher during periods with little or no rainfall, which make brush, grass, and trees dry and burn more easily. High winds can also contribute to spreading the fire.

If you live or work in an area prone to wildfires, consider the following safety tips to help prevent the spread of wildfire.

Wildfire Safety Tips

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. Remove dead  vegetation from under your deck and within 10  feet  of the  house.  This  prevents  embers from igniting your home.
  • Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches. Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to  prevent debris from accumulating.
  • Ensure flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks, dry vegetation) are more than 30 feet from your home or business's foundation and outbuildings.
  • Wildfire can spread to tree tops. If you have trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.

How to Prevent Attic Fires

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Attic Fires

Did you know that more than 40% of attic fires are the result of electrical malfunctions?

So how do we help prevent an attic fire? Here are three things firefighters suggest you hire have a professional to do:

    1. Have your chimney inspected by a professional who will check the interior and exterior of the chimney, including the part running through the attic
    1. Check the wiring in your attic, preferably by an electrician, looking for signs of damage, cracked insulation (wire sheathing), and exposed or disconnected wires
    1. Look for signs of burning and charring in the insulation and wood

A common mistake is that everybody typically plugs in their space heaters to help supplement their heat. And then, they'll put them on a long extension cord so that they are able to reach areas with less heat. So, the longer the extension cord is, the more ampage it will draw on the circuit.

Another common fire hazard is that homeowners choose voltage incandescent light bulbs in ceiling fixtures that is a higher voltage than required is also afire hazard. That heat that is trapped within the light fixture goes straight up into the attic and in the wires and essentially cook the wires, starting a fire.

If a Disaster Strikes, Will You Be Ready?

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

It is important to prepare before a disaster occurs.
It is important to prepare before a disaster occurs.

It is important to prepare before a disaster occurs. Consider the following steps to help you better prepare for an emergency situation.

  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps and/ or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
  • Develop and test emergency communication plans.
  • Assemble or update emergency supplies.
  • Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions.
  • Participate in a preparedness discussion, training or class.
  • Collect and safeguard critical documents.
  • Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
  • Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
  • Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage.

Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone. Take action now to protect yourself and your property

How to Prevent Attic Fires

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Attic Fires

Did you know that more than 40% of attic fires are the result of electrical malfunctions?

So how do we help prevent an attic fire? Here are three things firefighters suggest you hire have a professional to do:

    1. Have your chimney inspected by a professional who will check the interior and exterior of the chimney, including the part running through the attic
    1. Check the wiring in your attic, preferably by an electrician, looking for signs of damage, cracked insulation (wire sheathing), and exposed or disconnected wires
    1. Look for signs of burning and charring in the insulation and wood

A common mistake is that everybody typically plugs in their space heaters to help supplement their heat. And then, they'll put them on a long extension cord so that they are able to reach areas with less heat. So, the longer the extension cord is, the more ampage it will draw on the circuit.

Another common fire hazard is that homeowners choose voltage incandescent light bulbs in ceiling fixtures that is a higher voltage than required is also afire hazard. That heat that is trapped within the light fixture goes straight up into the attic and in the wires and essentially cook the wires, starting a fire.

Commercial Water Damage

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Sprinkler systems can be a common source of water damage in commercial facilities. While their benefits far outweigh their cons, both properly and improperly working sprinkler systems can contribute to a flooded facility. In this case, a fire in an adjacent building caused the sprinkler system in this building to go off over the weekend. The sprinkler shut-off was eventually found but not until the damage had affected 36,000 sq ft of the facility. If this was your facility, what would you do?

Choose a Trained Professional

When your facility is affected, it is important to call a commercial drying specialist such as SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn.  At SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn, we understand that every hour closed leads to an hour lost of productivity and potential revenue. Commercial damage restoration produces unique challenges so it is very important to choose a trained professional with a proven track record. At SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn, we will respond immediately to your damage regardless of size or scope. When your facility is affected, no job is too big or too small. If your find yourself in this situation, call SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn at 781-935-8222. 

Commercial Mold Damage

5/11/2018 (Permalink)

Besides causing a major business interruption, a mold problem can present a serious health risk for people exposed at your commercial property. Mold infestations can be caused by minor water intrusions, like a slow roof leak or loose plumbing fitting. Mold can also grow as a result of improper drying when you have a water leak that was not properly dried.  Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If you suspect your property has a mold problem, call  SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn, who will respond quickly and work fast to manage the situation.

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is locally owned and operated, so we’re already close by and ready to respond immediately when you need us. We make disaster "Like it never even happened." Give us a call today at (781) 935-8222.

Flood Warnings What do they mean?

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

ately there has been flooding all over the United States: if you are unfamiliar with the difference between a flash flood warning, flood warning, and flood advisory; then read below! 

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.

  • Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.

  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared:A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.

  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

Information from http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/

When Storms or Floods hit the Area, SERVPRO is Ready!

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists

As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit the area, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 781-935-8222

What is Lurking in Your Air Ducts?

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority.

In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirt ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home. In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. 

Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money. SERVPRO can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage conditions. 

  • We provide free written inspections and estimates
  • Eliminate offensive odors
  • Restore peak energy efficiency
  • Reduce potential for mold growth
  • Remediate bacteria, fungi and mold

Call us at 781-935-8222 to see how we can best improve your home or businesses air quality. We can make it "Like it never even happened."

Classes of Mold

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Like we always say, mold is everywhere and not all molds are harmful to us! Molds are often found in wet, damp places and can vary in color and smell. Mold is put into different categories based on their hazard:

Hazard Class C: While this group of molds are not health hazards – they can cause structural damages, and are recommended to be removed.

Hazard Class B: These are molds that if endured over long periods of time can cause allergic reactions

Hazard Class A: These are the molds we want to identify and remove immediately! These molds create toxins and if not handle correctly the air quality of a structure with steadily decline.

If you feel like your home or business might be affected by mold, give us a call at 781-935-8222. While we cannot determine what type of mold it may be – we can remediate it with no worry!

Does Your Company Have an Evacuation Plan for Employees?

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

On their website, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides important safety information as well as life saving tips for employers to share with their employees should it be necessary to evacuate a building in the event of an emergency. It is worth taking a look, you will be surprised at what you learn! Check it out.  https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/evac.html

     And although an emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, OSHA highly recommends that you provide an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business space during an emergency situation. Here are some tips:

     A disorganized evacuation can result in confusion, injury, and property damage. When developing your emergency action plan, it is important to determine the following:

    • Conditions under which an evacuation would be necessary.
    • A clear chain of command and designation of the person in your business authorized to order an evacuation or shutdown.
    • Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits.
    • Specific evacuation procedures for high-rise buildings.





    • Procedures for assisting visitors and employees to evacuate, particularly those with disabilities or who do not speak English.
    • Designation of what, if any, employees will remain after the evacuation alarm to shut down critical operations or perform other duties before evacuating.
    • A means of accounting for employees after an evacuation.

    During development and implementation of your draft plan, think about all possible emergency situations and evaluate your workplace to see if it complies with OSHA's emergency standards.

    Emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (781) 935-8222

Protective Measures for Thunderstorms

5/6/2018 (Permalink)

Protective Measures for Thunderstorms

In the United States, an average of 300 people are injured and 80 people are killed each year by lightning. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.

Before Thunderstorms and Lightning
To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:

  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Remember the 30/30 lightning safety rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.

The following are guidelines for what you should do if a thunderstorm is likely in your area:

  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades, or curtains.
  • Avoid showering or bathing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Use a corded telephone only for emergencies. Cordless and cellular telephones are safe to use.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.

Avoid the following:

  • Natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area
  • Hilltops, open fields, the beach, or a boat on the water
  • Isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas
  • Anything metal—tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs, and bicycles

During a Thunderstorm if you are:

In a forest:  Seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.

In an open area:  Go to a low place such as a ravine or valley.  Be alert for flash floods.

On open water: Get to land and find shelter immediately.  

Anywhere you feel your hair stand on end (which indicates that lightning is about to strike) squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet.  Place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees.  Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact to the ground.  DO NOT lie flat on the ground.

In the event you experience storm damage please contact your restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn at 781-935-8222.

Mold Remediation Containment

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

This information was taken fromRestoration and Remediation, an online magazine. It is beneficial to share information with you regarding mold and why we use containment in the remediation process.

"The great mold warriors we meet and work with on a daily basis all have a common advantage- like the greatest generals in history, they know their enemy. More specifically these mold warriors know and understand that the greatest strength of their enemy is its invisibility.

Begin your battle by heeding the current Nobel Laureate for literature:  "The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind." [Of course that was an anti-war song…but let's not get too hung up in details…]

Since we know our enemy, we know it's greatest weakness - it cannot move on its own accord.  It is entirely dependent on air currents to power its invasion. Manage the skies, and you will win the war.

Erecting containment and generating and directing the air flow within that containment will enable us to win the air war, by controlling the enemy's movement. 

Where is the most strategic location of this containment?  It should be placed as close to the source of invasion as possible while still permitting us to gain access and accomplish our work.

One of the most common flaws in mold remediation projects is a containment structure that is larger than it needs to be:  Larger containments require more equipment for managing airflow, have more possible leak points, and require more time and effort to decontaminate prior to de-mobilisation. While erecting a containment, one must carefully balance the trade-offs between size and work access. 

To do so, one can rely on the knowledge of experienced mold warriors and follow the established principles." 

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn can be your warrior when it comes to mold. To learn more, please call us at (781) 935-8222. We will help guide you through this process.

The Mold Remediation Process

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

This Burlington family discovered extensive microbial growth in their home, thanks to a leaking pipe that went undetected for months. Believe it or not, mold problems like this can be mitigated with the right expertise and equipment. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has trained technicians that were able to remove the mold growth, and then restore the space to preloss conditions. The family was very grateful that we were able to recover their home and protect them from any potential health effects. 

The Mold Remediation Process

Every mold infestation is different, from the extent and type of growth, to the variety of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. When you discover mold, call us at 781-935-8222 and we will go through our standard mold remediation process: 

  • Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Mold Containment
  • Air Filtration
  • Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Restoration

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today 781-935-8222

Unexpected Water Damage can be Frightening

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Imagine it is 8:00 a.m. on a Tuesday, and you walk into your office after a relaxing long weekend expecting to switch on the lights, start the coffee pot, and check your emails.

The only problem? A water pipe has burst over the weekend, dumping thousands of gallons of water over your floor, down the walls, and affecting most of the furniture in the office. You realize this problem is far beyond the reach of your shop vac.  What do you do now?

When it's your home or business that's underwater, mitigation can't wait. You need mitigation to begin yesterday. If water damage strikes you or your customers, give SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn a call immediately.

The cost of water damages can increase exponentially with time.   Wood floors warp, dry wall soaks in moisture and mold develops in hard to reach areas of your home or business. The benefits of rapid mitigation by a SERVPRO® Technician are two-fold: Your costs go down as potential hazards may be avoided, and your peace of mind goes through the roof.

So if the unthinkable happens to your home or business, allow SERVPRO ofBurlington/ Woburn to help quickly turn your "before" into a "happily ever after." Call today at (781) 935-8222.

Facts About Flooding

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you live near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert, there is a potential for suffering from flood damage.

Just because you haven't experienced  a  flood  in  the past,  doesn’t  mean  you  won't  in  the future.  In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3 billion in annual losses in the United States. Commercial flood claims average more than $75,000.

According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster.  The ARC offers the following flood safety tips.

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, run around and go another way Six inches of swiftly moving water can  sweep you  off of your feet.
  • If you approach  a flooded  road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road  and waters are rising rapidly around  you,  get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about run ning water or contaminated water. Keep your pets out of the water too.

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a  structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. The sooner work begins, the sooner order can be restored.

When fire and water take control of your life, SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn will help you take it back.

What to do if you suffer from a Fire Loss

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

What Can Someone Do When They Experience a Fire Loss?

Getting life back to normal when someone’s home or business has been affected by fire damage is extremely stressful. An individual may experience emotional as well as financial hardship. Loss of valuables and family keepsakes may leave a person feeling helpless. Fire in their home or a fire in their business is a terrible site for an owner to encounter.

The property owner experiencing the fire loss may find it necessary to seek help from a professional fire cleanup company. The owner may not be able to enter the property when faced with a fire in their home or a fire in their business. The strong odors from smoke damage can be harmful to their health. 

What Types of Damages Can a Fire in a Home or a Fire in a Business Cause?

Coming up against a fire in the home may become an extremely difficult situation. Types of damages an owner can expect include soot damage, smoke damage, and the air quality in the home is affected. Overall a fire loss can be an upsetting -as well as costly- experience. 

Soot damage on rugs, upholstery, and curtains may be more costly to clean. In some cases, it may be easier to replace these items. Air quality may not improve until fire cleanup begins, and odors from smoke damage are removed. Fire damage to a home or business can seem like a nightmare.

Known Dangers of Commercial Fire Damage

All fires to any structure can be dangerous. A fire in a business can spread quickly to nearby areas. Commercial fire damage may involve dangerous gasses leaking and even explosives depending on the type of business in place. If not handled quickly a commercial fire damage can result in a long-term loss. Certain substances, like combustible metals often in industrial locations can emit undesirable chemicals making the air quality problematic. 

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire in the business property can also put a dent on the finances for an owner. Especially when they solely rely on income produced from their business. 

Not only can a commercial fire damage result in the destruction of items they have invested on, but also dealing with the repairs can be extremely costly. Heavy soot damage on clothing in retail shops, for instance, cannot be sold and is a complete loss to the owners. 

Certain types of commercial fire damage may be compensated by an insurance company to help owners recover from a fire loss, however, it will likely not happen as quickly as they would like. The same can be said for homeowners that need to recover from the effects of a fire in their home. Beginning the fire cleanup process is imperative to prevent further destruction from fire damage. 

What Does a Fire Cleanup Professional Do?

Fire cleanup professionals provide a variety of services to those that have experienced a fire loss. They have the equipment to clean areas affected by soot damage, and machines that improve air quality by eliminating pervasive odors due to smoke damage. Fire damage can go beyond what a home or business owner may see. 

Visual inspection can show the soot damage around the structure, and the odors from smoke damage will affect the air quality, and the odors can linger on. An important step taken by a fire damage restoration company is to inspect behind walls and under flooring for additional fire damage. Working with a trusted company can help owners get their life back in order.

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is here to help! For more information, please contact us at (781) 935-8222.

Flooded Basement? What type of water?

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Early spring brings melting snow and heavy rains, all which could potentially pose a threat to flooding your basement.  We get a lot of questions on the types of water.  To help you understand what kind of water could potentially be in your basement there are (3) categories:

Category 1:  Known as "clean water" which is clean at the releasing source and does not pose a hazard if consumed by humans.  Most of the water that comes into your home will be Category 1 until it leaves its source, either a supply line, an appliance, or melting snow or rain.  The water in this category may become cotaminated as it mixes with soils on or within floor coverings, walls, subfloors, etc..  

Category 2:   Water that begins with some degree of contamination and could cause sickness or discomfort if consumed by humans.  Also know as "gray water"  is typically overflow water from an appliance, toilet, or aquarium.  

Category 3:Water which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans. Also know as "black water" examples are sewage, rising flood water from rivers and streams, ground surface water flowing horizontally into homes.

Best Practices for Dealing with Contaminated Water

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Best Practices for Dealing with Contaminated Water

Do:

                Avoid all contact with sewage and items and contaminated by sewage.

                Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

Don’t:

                Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.

                Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.

                Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.

                Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

However if exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation.  Consult your local health department or physician.

When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial, contact SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn at 781-935-8222 Our response is immediate and we use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly.  We closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly. The main goal of SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is to help minimize the interruption to your life and as quickly as possible make it "like it never even happened." 

Common Causes of Wildfires

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

A wildfire is the potentially deadly catalyst that starts as an uncontrolled fire in a large undeveloped and un-populated area. If the response to these fires is not timely they can quickly get out of control and end up destroying homes and agriculture and killing animals and human life in their path. As many as 90 percent of wildfires in the United States are caused by human carelessness or criminal intent. An unattended campfire, the burning of debris, negligently discarded cigarettes as well as intentional acts of arson are some of the ways that people cause tragedy. Wildfires can also be caused by an accumulation of dead matter (leaves, twigs, and trees) that create enough heat in some instances to spontaneously combust and ignite the surrounding area. Man-made combustion from arson, carelessness and lack of fire safety cause wildfire disasters every year. However, weather conditions contribute to the occurrence of wildfires as well. Lightning strikes or extended dry spells causing drought are weather related agitators. Lightning strikes the earth over 100,000 times a day and 10% to 20% of these lightning strikes can cause fire. An average of 1.2 million acres of US woodland burn every year. And sadly a large wildfire is even capable of modifying the local weather conditions and producing its own weather.

Summer is coming and many of us will be camping in the woods. We have known Smokey the Bear all our lives and have the responsibility to share his critical message with the next generation of campers. I love the commercial where Smokey comes out of the woods and gives a young camper a hug for carefully putting out his campfire. You can't help but smile. The message is stated subtly but is a good reminder of the detailed instructions Smokey has provided for years on how together we can prevent forest fires. As Smokey advises,keep campfires at a manageable size, allow wood to burn to ash completely, and pour a substantial amount of water on all embers until hissing sound stops. If you do not have water, stir up the dirt or sand into the embers with a shovel and bury the fire making absolutely sure no embers are exposed and still smoldering. One last word of caution from the Bear who knows,“If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.”

Mold Damage Emergency Tips

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

What you can do until help arrives

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.

Have a Mold Problem? Call Today 781-939-6990

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional for mold remediation services.

What NOT to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

Sewage Cleanup and Restoration

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

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 have specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminants like sewage.

Toilet Overflow or Sewer Backup?
Call Today 781-939-6990

Water damage can be classified by the 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 leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on 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.

  • 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 are 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.

Fire Damage Emergency Tips

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

What you can do until help arrives

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? 
Call 781-939-6990

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Flooded Basement Tips

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Pipe Freeze Tips

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

Pipe Freeze

When temperatures get below 20 degrees you should flush your toilets and run hot water through your pipes every 4 hours. When it’s extremely cold let cold water slowly drip from faucets served by exposed pipes and pipes particularly close to the foundation.

The lines going to your toilets are more susceptible because they have only cold water running through them. The lower the temperature the more crucial it is to flush toilets regularly. If the toilet sounds irregular or makes a crackling sound while filling up the tank or tank and bowl, or is slow to fill, you have a problem. It’s important to remedy it quickly.

Identify the line in the basement. You can often pin point exactly where it’s frozen because it will be colder to the touch.

Set up a space heater and aim it directly at the frozen area of the line for at least an hour, or until tank and bowl fills at the normal rate. With old style heaters, be careful of a potential fire hazard. Give the space heater space. Do not have flammable materials within several feet of the heater and be certain it’s standing or balanced securely.

Check for drafts. You may find a draft that is aimed directly at the line. These lines are often very close to the foundation. You can identify the draft by simply using your hand or a candle.

Cover up the drafty area. This can be a quick fix by adhering plastic or even a towel over the draft, or you could use caulk or spackle from the inside. Just stop that draft from aiming at your pipe. Suring up drafty areas from the outside and inside is ideal, but at least tackle the problem from the inside for now.

If it’s too late and your pipe has burst, shut off the main water supply, crank up the heat and call a plumber. We’re here if you need us for clean up afterward. We’ll clean up all water, leave fans and dehumidifiers behind until it’s thoroughly dry and be sure your water problem doesn’t turn into a mold problem.

We are a Certified IICRC Firm

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SERVPRO Here to Help

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Burlington, Woburn, Wilmington & Winchester commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a damaging event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Emergency Fire Tips for Homeowners and Business Owners

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over

The first 48 hours after fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. We provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.

  • Limit movement to prevent further damage
  • Place clean towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances with light coating of petroleum jelly
  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO®
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO®
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water damage without consulting a repair service.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet
  • Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

So before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at (781) 935-8222. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has worked for over 40 years to help make fire damage “Like it never even happened."

When Mold Invades Your Home or Business

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

When mold invades your home, make sure you know who to call

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See or Smell Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (781) 935-8222. 

When You See Mold, Call Us Today

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Can Spread and Multiply Faster than You Realize

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

Stay out of affected areas.

Turn off the HVAC system and fans.

Contact SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

Don’t touch or disturb the mold.

Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.

Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.

Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 781-935-8222

Surprise Snow Storms Tips for Your Home!

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

When it comes to life’s emergencies, it isn't a matter of if they will occur, it's a matter of when they will occur

The potential for surprise snow storms as Winter approaches can be very real. They can also be beautiful to see as the snow sticks to trees. But they can be dangerous to your home and office. In order to stay safe, SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn wants you to please follow these and other safety tips for your home.

Before the Storm



Have an emergency supply kit on hand

Develop a communication plan with all members of your family



After the Storm               



If wires come down due to the weight of the snow, do not touch them

Do not drive on roads that haven't been cleared



Keep you and your family safe through a storm. When in doubt, stay away from anything that may look suspicious or anything that may be break due to the weight of the snow. 

If the snow starts melting and it comes into your home, SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is here to help! We can remove any affected materials and dry out the structure. For more information, please visit us at www.SERVPROofburlingtonwoburn.com or call (781)-935-8222

Choosing the Right Roof For Your Home

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

Knowing the damage that can occur in your region will help determine the type of roof that belongs on your home.

The right roof for your home can not only look good, but always can protect your home during a storm. Here, we share a blog from Budget Dumpster on how to pick the right roof for you.

Types of Roof Shingles

Asphalt

Of all the different types of shingles, these are the most commonly used because they’re the least expensive and relatively easy to install. These shingles are made of fiberglass mats coated with asphalt containing sand-like granules.

The downside: Asphalt shingles have a relatively short life span of 20 to 30 years, and they don’t fare well in areas where the temperature fluctuates unexpectedly, such as the Midwest.

Why choose asphalt roofing shingles? They’re the most economical of roofing options and come in plenty of styles and color selections.

Metal

This type of roof is made with many different materials – aluminum, steel, copper, zinc and titanium. If properly maintained, your metal roof could last as long as 50 years. You may want to consider metal if your home’s roofline is flat or steep.

The downside: Metal roofing can become noisy whenever it’s hailing or raining.

Why choose metal roofing shingles? They’re durable, fireproof and good at shedding snow and ice.

Slate

Not only are slate shingles durable – lasting anywhere from 80 to 100 years – they are also highly resistant to water and physical damage.

The downside: In addition to their high price tag, slate is expensive to repair because very few roofing companies specialize in this particular type of shingle. Furthermore, slate is rather heavy and may not be a good fit if your home can’t handle the weight.

Why choose slate roofing shingles? They’re one of the longest-lasting types of roofing material you can choose, and on the right style of home, adds a nice visual appeal.

Wood

Aside from being durable and having a lifespan of 30 to 50 years, wood shingles are more environmentally friendly than other types. This type of roof shingle is usually made of cedar, but can also be made of other rot-resistant woods, such as redwood.

The downside: Although energy-efficient and long-lasting, wood shingles are less fire-resistant than other types. They’re also more susceptible to termites and mold.

Why choose wood roofing shingles? They’re visually appealing and generally cooler than other types of shingles that are darker in color.

For more information on your roof or Budget Dumpster, please visit their blog.

If your roof doesn't hold up in a storm and you are a victim of water damage, please call us at 781-935-8222, to make it "Like it never even happened."

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 781-935-8222

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Fire Damage - Emergency Ready Profile

9/29/2017 (Permalink)

A fire in your home or business is nothing you ever planned on.  But it is something you can plan for by calling on the fire and water, cleanup and restoration specialist at SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn at 781-935-8222. That’s where you’ll find a team of professionals who are committed to helping you develop a plan to make sure you’re ready for whatever happens.   With an Emergency Ready Profile from SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn you’ll take confidence in knowing that when the things that matter most are on the line they will be too because you can’t keep fire damage from taking control of your home or business.  But with an Emergency Ready Profile, you can make sure it doesn’t take control of your life.  So before fire or water damage strikes, make sure you’re ready for whatever happens with SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn at 781-935-8222.  Helping make fire and water damage “Like it never even happened”.

Homeowners Insurance

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

What homeowners in New England need to know!

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you and your house or condo is adequately covered. If you’re anything like the average American, you likely have less homeowners (or condo) insurance than you need to weather the storm.

According to the non-profit advocacy organization, United Policyholders, about two-thirds of U.S. homeowners would be underinsured if they were to find themselves on the wrong end of some sort of adverse weather event.

Northeast

Do you own property in New England? If so, the biggest threats—from a weather or natural disaster standpoint are floods, snow/cold temperatures, and strong winds.

If you reside in a Northeastern you will want to make sure your homeowners insurance provides for you if your home becomes a casualty of flood, snow, or wind damage. Below is a bit more about each.

Floods

Homeowners insurance usually doesn’t cover damage caused by flooding. Many Americans wrongly believe their basic home policy protects them from flood damage.

Floods are the most common of all the natural disasters in the U.S., so that could be a problem for homeowners who live in flood-prone regions.

If you reside in a high-risk area, and you obtained your mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender, you’ll be required to buy flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. (If you live in a moderate- or low-risk area, the government won’t force you to purchase it. Still, you can do so if your community participates in the NFIP.)

Snow

If a large amount of snow is dumped onto your roof, it very well could cause it to collapse if it doesn’t melt or isn’t removed fairly quickly.

Luckily, even if all you have is a barebones homeowners policy, you should be well protected from an insurance perspective when you go to pay for any related repairs.

Your bank account also should be safe if you’re hit by a blizzard and the strong winds that often are associated with it somehow damages your house or surrounding property. (Ripping shingles from your roof or toppling a tree that destroys your garage are two examples.)

What are some wintry situations that could prompt you to have to pay for home repairs or replacements out of your own pocket if you haven’t invested in extra endorsements or stand-alone policies? One possibility is if your pipes burst because you failed to keep your house warm enough. Another is if your basement (or some other part of your dwelling) floods after all of the snow that’s currently blanketing your lawn inevitably melts.

In the latter instance, an actual flood insurance policy—again, purchased through the NFIP—is going to be the only thing (outside of your own hard-earned cash) that will come to your rescue, so if that’s a real concern for you, you should consider going that route as soon as possible.

Cold Temperatures

When the temperature drops below the freezing point, and especially when it dips below zero degrees, it can cause pipes to burst.

High Winds

This region rarely has to deal with hurricanes but it’s no stranger to strong winds—up to 60 miles per hour, especially during the winter months. These winds can cause significant damage to dwellings and property.

The question is, is the damage produced by these winds protected by your standard homeowners policy? For the most part, it is-under the broad “windstorm peril” section of your plan, according to “If Disaster Strikes, Will You Be Covered?”

Specifically, if strong winds blow off part (or all) of your roof, or knock down a fence, or drop a tree onto your house, most of the resulting repair and replacement costs will be covered—to some extent, of course—by that form of insurance.

There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if a particularly harsh wind storm fells one of the trees in your yard and it doesn’t damage your home or other structures in any way, you’ll have to pay to have it and any related debris removed from your property.

The above segments were adapted from the writings of Bryan Ochalla and www.upheld.org, a resource for US policy holders.

SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn reminds you to double check your policy to be sure you’re covered. Let us know how we can help. Enjoy this beautiful time of year and stay safe.

Water Damage

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 781-935-8222

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Fire Prevention Week

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) holds their Fire Prevention Week activities in October; this year it’s October 8th-14th.

SERVPRO is proud to announce our sponsorship and participation during this time. Our local fire fighters visit children at school and hold open houses. The kids enjoy these visits and learn the basics of fire prevention.

SERVPRO has provided fire safety coloring books and crayons to the communities of North Reading, Wilmington, Winchester and Stoneham. The fire fighters will distribute these gifts during their visits. It’s a fun way to support our local fire fighters and give back to the community.

In winter, we see an increased risk for household fires. Below are four of the top six causes of fires. Notice the presence of danger increases in winter, due to an increase of usage in these categories:

In the spirit of fire prevention, we’d like to remind you to:

  • Replace smoke detector batteries.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Have an escape plan and meeting place.
  • Space heaters need adequate space around them. Don’t place objects to close.
  • Thoroughly clean your dryer of lint.
  • Never use a candle if an oxygen tank is used in the home.

Smoke Alarms

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. 

Here's what you need to know!
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. 
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. 
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use of both types of alarms in the home.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
  • More about installation and maintenance of home smoke alarms.

Fire Damage in Home

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn we understand how badly some fires can affect our customers. Not only do they do damage to the homes and businesses to so many individuals but they also cause a tremendous amount of stress.  We are here to alleviate that stress and restore your home back to the way it once was prior to damage.  This job classifies as fire damage as you can see the amount of debris on the floor when looking at the picture. Our crew went in with the proper tools to get rid of all the garbage and debris the fire left behind to make this house look like a home again. Our customer was very happy with the level of professionalism we provided. It’s easy to get worked up when something like this happens to you but don’t worry SERVPRO is #heretohelp.

Emergency Fire Tips for Homeowners and Business Owners

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over.

The first 48 hours after fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. We provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.

  • Limit movement to prevent further damage
  • Place clean towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances with light coating of petroleum jelly
  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO®
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO®
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water damage without consulting a repair service.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet
  • Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

So before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals at (781) 935-8222. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has worked for over 40 years to help make fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

5 Wildfire Safety Tips

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

Wildfires can occur at any time throughout the year, but the potential is always higher during periods with little or no rainfall.

A wildfire can occur anywhere-in fact, in 2014, wildfire occurrences were  recorded in all 50 states. What is a wildfire? It is an unplanned, unwanted fire burning in a natural area, such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. A wildfire can destroy homes, businesses, agriculture, and damage natural resources while threatening the safety of the public and the firefighters who protect our forests and communities.  Wildfires can occur at any time throughout the year, but the potential is always higher during periods with little or no rainfall, which make brush, grass, and trees dry and burn more easily. High winds can also contribute to spreading the fire.

If you live or work in an area prone to wildfires, consider the following safety tips to help prevent the spread of wildfire.

Wildfire Safety Tips

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. Remove dead  vegetation from under your deck and within 10  feet  of the  house.  This  prevents  embers from igniting your home.
  • Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches. Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to  prevent debris from accumulating.
  • Ensure flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks, dry vegetation) are more than 30 feet from your home or business's foundation and outbuildings.
  • Wildfire can spread to tree tops. If you have trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.

How To Prevent Attic Fires

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

Attic Fires

Did you know that more than 40% of attic fires are the result of electrical malfunctions?

So how do we help prevent an attic fire? Here are three things firefighters suggest you hire have a professional to do:

    1. Have your chimney inspected by a professional who will check the interior and exterior of the chimney, including the part running through the attic
    1. Check the wiring in your attic, preferably by an electrician, looking for signs of damage, cracked insulation (wire sheathing), and exposed or disconnected wires
    1. Look for signs of burning and charring in the insulation and wood

A common mistake is that everybody typically plugs in their space heaters to help supplement their heat. And then, they'll put them on a long extension cord so that they are able to reach areas with less heat. So, the longer the extension cord is, the more ampage it will draw on the circuit.

Another common fire hazard is that homeowners choose voltage incandescent light bulbs in ceiling fixtures that is a higher voltage than required is also afire hazard. That heat that is trapped within the light fixture goes straight up into the attic and in the wires and essentially cook the wires, starting a fire.

Flood Warnings What to they mean?

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Lately there has been flooding all over the United States: if you are unfamiliar with the difference between a flash flood warning, flood warning, and flood advisory; then read below! 

 

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.

  • Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.

  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared:A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.

  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

Information from http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/

When Storms or Floods hit the Area, SERVPRO is Ready!

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Wakefield is here to HELP!

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.


Faster Response


Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.


 


We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists


As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.



  • Water Damage Restoration Technician

  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians


Resources to Handle Floods and Storms


When storms hit the area, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.


Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 781-935-8222

Commercial Water Damage

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Sprinkler systems can be a common source of water damage in commercial facilities. While their benefits far outweigh their cons, both properly and improperly working sprinkler systems can contribute to a flooded facility. In this case, a fire in an adjacent building caused the sprinkler system in this building to go off over the weekend. The sprinkler shut-off was eventually found but not until the damage had affected 36,000 sq ft of the facility. If this was your facility, what would you do?

Choose a Trained Professional

When your facility is affected, it is important to call a commercial drying specialist such as SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn.  At SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn, we understand that every hour closed leads to an hour lost of productivity and potential revenue. Commercial damage restoration produces unique challenges so it is very important to choose a trained professional with a proven track record. At SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn, we will respond immediately to your damage regardless of size or scope. When your facility is affected, no job is too big or too small. If your find yourself in this situation, call SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn at 781-935-8222.

Commercial Mold Damage

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

GOT MOLD?

Besides causing a major business interruption, a mold problem can present a serious health risk for people exposed at your commercial property. Mold infestations can be caused by minor water intrusions, like a slow roof leak or loose plumbing fitting. Mold can also grow as a result of improper drying when you have a water leak that was not properly dried.  Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If you suspect your property has a mold problem, call  SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn, who will respond quickly and work fast to manage the situation.


SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is locally owned and operated, so we’re already close by and ready to respond immediately when you need us. We make disaster "Like it never even happened." Give us a call today at (781) 935-8222.

Our Standard Process for Mold

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

Believe it or not, mold problems like this can be mitigated with the right expertise and equipment.

This Burlington family discovered extensive microbial growth in their home, thanks to a leaking pipe that went undetected for months. Believe it or not, mold problems like this can be mitigated with the right expertise and equipment. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has trained technicians that were able to remove the mold growth, and then restore the space to preloss conditions. The family was very grateful that we were able to recover their home and protect them from any potential health effects. 

The Mold Remediation Process

Every mold infestation is different, from the extent and type of growth, to the variety of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. When you discover mold, call us at 781-935-8222 and we will go through our standard mold remediation process: 

  • Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Mold Containment
  • Air Filtration
  • Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Restoration

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today 781-935-8222

Containment During a Mold Remediation: How Important is It?

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

This information was taken fromRestoration and Remediation, an online magazine. It is beneficial to share information with you regarding mold and why we use containment in the remediation process.

"The great mold warriors we meet and work with on a daily basis all have a common advantage- like the greatest generals in history, they know their enemy. More specifically these mold warriors know and understand that the greatest strength of their enemy is its invisibility.

Begin your battle by heeding the current Nobel Laureate for literature:  "The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind." [Of course that was an anti-war song…but let's not get too hung up in details…]

Since we know our enemy, we know it's greatest weakness - it cannot move on its own accord.  It is entirely dependent on air currents to power its invasion. Manage the skies, and you will win the war.

Erecting containment and generating and directing the air flow within that containment will enable us to win the air war, by controlling the enemy's movement. 

Where is the most strategic location of this containment?  It should be placed as close to the source of invasion as possible while still permitting us to gain access and accomplish our work.

One of the most common flaws in mold remediation projects is a containment structure that is larger than it needs to be:  Larger containments require more equipment for managing airflow, have more possible leak points, and require more time and effort to decontaminate prior to de-mobilisation. While erecting a containment, one must carefully balance the trade-offs between size and work access. 

To do so, one can rely on the knowledge of experienced mold warriors and follow the established principles." 

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn can be your warrior when it comes to mold. To learn more, please call us at (781) 935-8222. We will help guide you through this process.

Unexpected Water Damage in Your Wilmington Home or Business Can Be Frightening

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

A water pipe has burst over the weekend, dumping thousands of gallons of water over your floor and affecting most of the furniture.

Imagine it is 8:00 a.m. on a Tuesday, and you walk into your office after a relaxing long weekend expecting to switch on the lights, start the coffee pot, and check your emails.

 

The only problem? A water pipe has burst over the weekend, dumping thousands of gallons of water over your floor, down the walls, and affecting most of the furniture in the office. You realize this problem is far beyond the reach of your shop vac.  What do you do now?

 

When it's your home or business that's underwater, mitigation can't wait. You need mitigation to begin yesterday. If water damage strikes you or your customers, give SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn a call immediately.

 

The cost of water damages can increase exponentially with time.   Wood floors warp, dry wall soaks in moisture and mold develops in hard to reach areas of your home or business. The benefits of rapid mitigation by a SERVPRO® Technician are two-fold: Your costs go down as potential hazards may be avoided, and your peace of mind goes through the roof.

 

So if the unthinkable happens to your home or business, allow SERVPRO ofBurlington/ Woburn to help quickly turn your "before" into a "happily ever after." Call today at (781) 935-8222.

Facts About Flooding in Your Woburn Area

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often overwhelming

Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you live near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert, there is a potential for suffering from flood damage.

Just because you haven't experienced  a  flood  in  the past,  doesn’t  mean  you  won't  in  the future.  In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3 billion in annual losses in the United States. Commercial flood claims average more than $75,000.

According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster.  The ARC offers the following flood safety tips.

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, run around and go another way Six inches of swiftly moving water can  sweep you  off of your feet.
  • If you approach  a flooded  road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road  and waters are rising rapidly around  you,  get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about run ning water or contaminated water. Keep your pets out of the water too.

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a  structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. The sooner work begins, the sooner order can be restored.

When fire and water take control of your life, SERVPRO® of Burlington/ Woburn will help you take it back.

What Can Someone Do When They Experience a Fire Loss?

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

What Can Someone Do When They Experience a Fire Loss?

Getting life back to normal when someone’s home or business has been affected by fire damage is extremely stressful. An individual may experience emotional as well as financial hardship. Loss of valuables and family keepsakes may leave a person feeling helpless. Fire in their home or a fire in their business is a terrible site for an owner to encounter.

The property owner experiencing the fire loss may find it necessary to seek help from a professional fire cleanup company. The owner may not be able to enter the property when faced with a fire in their home or a fire in their business. The strong odors from smoke damage can be harmful to their health.

What Types of Damages Can a Fire in a Home or a Fire in a Business Cause?

Coming up against a fire in the home may become an extremely difficult situation. Types of damages an owner can expect include soot damage, smoke damage, and the air quality in the home is affected. Overall a fire loss can be an upsetting -as well as costly- experience.

Soot damage on rugs, upholstery, and curtains may be more costly to clean. In some cases, it may be easier to replace these items. Air quality may not improve until fire cleanup begins, and odors from smoke damage are removed. Fire damage to a home or business can seem like a nightmare.

Known Dangers of Commercial Fire Damage

All fires to any structure can be dangerous. A fire in a business can spread quickly to nearby areas. Commercial fire damage may involve dangerous gasses leaking and even explosives depending on the type of business in place. If not handled quickly a commercial fire damage can result in a long-term loss. Certain substances, like combustible metals often in industrial locations can emit undesirable chemicals making the air quality problematic.

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire in the business property can also put a dent on the finances for an owner. Especially when they solely rely on income produced from their business.

Not only can a commercial fire damage result in the destruction of items they have invested on, but also dealing with the repairs can be extremely costly. Heavy soot damage on clothing in retail shops, for instance, cannot be sold and is a complete loss to the owners.

Certain types of commercial fire damage may be compensated by an insurance company to help owners recover from a fire loss, however, it will likely not happen as quickly as they would like. The same can be said for homeowners that need to recover from the effects of a fire in their home. Beginning the fire cleanup process is imperative to prevent further destruction from fire damage.

What Does a Fire Cleanup Professional Do?

Fire cleanup professionals provide a variety of services to those that have experienced a fire loss. They have the equipment to clean areas affected by soot damage, and machines that improve air quality by eliminating pervasive odors due to smoke damage. Fire damage can go beyond what a home or business owner may see.

Visual inspection can show the soot damage around the structure, and the odors from smoke damage will affect the air quality, and the odors can linger on. An important step taken by a fire damage restoration company is to inspect behind walls and under flooring for additional fire damage. Working with a trusted company can help owners get their life back in order.

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is here to help! For more information, please visit our website at www.servrpoburlingtonwoburn.com or call (781) 935-8222.

Flooded Basement? What type of water could be in your basement.

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

Flooded Basement

Early spring brings melting snow and heavy rains, all which could potentially pose a threat to flooding your basement.  We get a lot of questions on the types of water.  To help you understand what kind of water could potentially be in your basement there are (3) categories:

Category 1:  Known as "clean water" which is clean at the releasing source and does not pose a hazard if consumed by humans.  Most of the water that comes into your home will be Category 1 until it leaves its source, either a supply line, an appliance, or melting snow or rain.  The water in this category may become cotaminated as it mixes with soils on or within floor coverings, walls, subfloors, etc..  

Category 2:   Water that begins with some degree of contamination and could cause sickness or discomfort if consumed by humans.  Also know as "gray water"  is typically overflow water from an appliance, toilet, or aquarium.  

Category 3:Water which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans. Also know as "black water" examples are sewage, rising flood water from rivers and streams, ground surface water flowing horizontally into homes.

Do's & Don'ts: Damage from Contaminated Water

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

Do’s & Don’ts: Damage From Contaminated Water

Do:

                Avoid all contact with sewage and items and contaminated by sewage.

                Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

 

Don’t:

                Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.

                Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.

                Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.

                Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

However if exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation.  Consult your local health department or physician.

When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial, contact SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn at 781-935-8222 Our response is immediate and we use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly.  We closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly. The main goal of SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is to help minimize the interruption to your life and as quickly as possible make it "like it never even happened." 

Common Causes of Wildfires

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

   A wildfire is the potentially deadly catalyst that starts as an uncontrolled fire in a large undeveloped and un-populated area. If the response to these fires is not timely they can quickly get out of control and end up destroying homes and agriculture and killing animals and human life in their path. As many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by human carelessness or criminal intent. An unattended campfire, the burning of debris, negligently discarded cigarettes as well as intentional acts of arson are some of the ways that people cause tragedy. Wildfires can also be caused by an accumulation of dead matter (leaves, twigs, and trees) that create enough heat in some instances to spontaneously combust and ignite the surrounding area. Man-made combustion from arson, carelessness and lack of fire safety cause wildfire disasters every year. However, weather conditions contribute to the occurrence of wildfires as well. Lightning strikes or extended dry spells causing drought are weather related agitators. Lightning strikes the earth over 100,000 times a day and 10 to 20% of these lightning strikes can cause fire.  An average of 1.2 million acres of US woodland burn every year. And sadly a large wildfire is even capable of modifying the local weather conditions and producing its own weather.


     Summer is coming and many of us will be camping in the woods. We have known Smokey the Bear all our lives and have the responsibility to share his critical message with the next generation of campers. I love the commercial where Smokey comes out of the woods and gives a young camper a hug for carefully putting out his campfire. You can't help but smile. The message is stated subtly but is a good reminder of the detailed instructions Smokey has provided for years on how together we can prevent foret fires. As Smokey advises, keep campfires at a managemable size, allow wood to burn to ash completely, and pour a substantial amount of water on all embers until hissing sound stops.  If you do not have water, stir up the dirt or sand into the embers with a shovel and bury the fire making absolutely sure no embers are exposed and still smoldering. One last word of caution from the Bear who knows, “If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.”

Protective Measures for Thunderstorms

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

Protective Measures for Thunderstorms

In the United States, an average of 300 people are injured and 80 people are killed each year by lightning. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.

Before Thunderstorms and Lightning
To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:

  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Remember the 30/30 lightning safety rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.

The following are guidelines for what you should do if a thunderstorm is likely in your area:

  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades, or curtains.
  • Avoid showering or bathing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Use a corded telephone only for emergencies. Cordless and cellular telephones are safe to use.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.

Avoid the following:

  • Natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area
  • Hilltops, open fields, the beach, or a boat on the water
  • Isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas
  • Anything metal—tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs, and bicycles

During a Thunderstorm if you are:

In a forest:  Seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.

In an open area:  Go to a low place such as a ravine or valley.  Be alert for flash floods.

On open water: Get to land and find shelter immediately.  

Anywhere you feel your hair stand on end (which indicates that lightning is about to strike) squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet.  Place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees.  Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact to the ground.  DO NOT lie flat on the ground.

In the event you experience storm damage please contact your restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn at 781-935-8222.

Does Your Company Have an Evacuation Plan for Employees?

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

On their website, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides important safety information as well as life saving tips for employers to share with their employees should it be necessary to evacuate a building in the event of an emergency. It is worth taking a look, you will be surprised at what you learn! Check it out.  https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/evac.html

 

     And although an emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, OSHA highly recommends that you provide an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business space during an emergency situation. Here are some tips:

 

     A disorganized evacuation can result in confusion, injury, and property damage. When developing your emergency action plan, it is important to determine the following:

 

 

    • Conditions under which an evacuation would be necessary.

 

 

    • A clear chain of command and designation of the person in your business authorized to order an evacuation or shutdown.

 

    • Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits.

 

    • Specific evacuation procedures for high-rise buildings.



 



    • Procedures for assisting visitors and employees to evacuate, particularly those with disabilities or who do not speak English.

 

    • Designation of what, if any, employees will remain after the evacuation alarm to shut down critical operations or perform other duties before evacuating.

 

    • A means of accounting for employees after an evacuation.

 

 

 

 

    During development and implementation of your draft plan, think about all possible emergency situations and evaluate your workplace to see if it complies with OSHA's emergency standards.

 

    Emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.

 

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (781) 935-8222

Classes of Mold

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

Like we always say, mold is everywhere and not all molds are harmful to us! Molds are often found in wet, damp places and can vary in color and smell. Mold is put into different categories based on their hazard:

Hazard Class C: While this group of molds are not health hazards – they can cause structural damages, and are recommended to be removed.

Hazard Class B: These are molds that if endured over long periods of time can cause allergic reactions

Hazard Class A: These are the molds we want to identify and remove immediately! These molds create toxins and if not handle correctly the air quality of a structure with steadily decline.

 

If you feel like your home or business might be affected by mold, give us a call at 781-935-8222. While we cannot determine what type of mold it may be – we can remediate it with no worry!

What is Lurking in Your Air Ducts?

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority.


In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirt ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home. In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. 


Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money. SERVPRO can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage conditions. 



  • We provide free written inspections and estimates

  • Eliminate offensive odors

  • Restore peak energy efficiency

  • Reduce potential for mold growth

  • Remediate bacteria, fungi and mold


Call us at 781-935-8222 to see how we can best improve your home or businesses air quality. We can make it "Like it never even happened"

Frozen Pipes

12/30/2016 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipe

When temperatures get below 20 degrees you should flush your toilets and run hot water through your pipes every 4 hours. When it’s extremely cold let cold water slowly drip from faucets served by exposed pipes and pipes particularly close to the foundation.

The lines going to your toilets are more susceptible because they have only cold water running through them. The lower the temperature the more crucial it is to flush toilets regularly. If the toilet sounds irregular or makes a crackling sound while filling up the tank or tank and bowl, or is slow to fill, you have a problem. It’s important to remedy it quickly.

Identify the line in the basement. You can often pin point exactly where it’s frozen because it will be colder to the touch.

Set up a space heater and aim it directly at the frozen area of the line for at least an hour, or until tank and bowl fills at the normal rate. With old style heaters, be careful of a potential fire hazard. Give the space heater space. Do not have flammable materials within several feet of the heater and be certain it’s standing or balanced securely.

Check for drafts. You may find a draft that is aimed directly at the line. These lines are often very close to the foundation. You can identify the draft by simply using your hand or a candle.

Cover up the drafty area. This can be a quick fix by adhering plastic or even a towel over the draft, or you could use caulk or spackle from the inside. Just stop that draft from aiming at your pipe. Suring up drafty areas from the outside and inside is ideal, but at least tackle the problem from the inside for now.

If it’s too late and your pipe has burst, shut off the main water supply, crank up the heat and call a plumber. We’re here if you need us for clean up afterward. We’ll clean up all water, leave fans and dehumidifiers behind until it’s thoroughly dry and be sure your water problem doesn’t turn into a mold problem.

Trade Show

11/4/2016 (Permalink)

Trade Show

SERVPRO exhibited at the Community Associations Institute-New England Chapter. The event was held Saturday, October 22’nd at the Burlington Marriot Hotel.

The association serves and educates officers of various Condominium Associations and Property Management Personnel alike. Approximately 1000 were in attendance. CAI is a great resource for local condominium board officers and property management companies. It gives them ideas on how to better serve the local residents of our community.

Some of the sessions included “Transition from Developer to Unit Owner Control” and “Energy Efficiency”. Experts on these subjects serve to enhance the condominium ownership experience and help the environment.

SERVPRO is proud to have been a part of the event. We were happy to have run into many whom we have served over the years. It’s very satisfying to hear the personal stories of local residents and business owners. They recalled how we were there for them immediately following a fire or flood and helped them get back in their homes and businesses as soon as possible.

Weather it’s a catastrophe like fire and water or a service call for mold or duct cleaning, we constantly strive to live up to our motto “Like it never even happened”.

Fire Prevention Week

10/13/2016 (Permalink)

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) holds their Fire Prevention Week activities in October; this year it’s October 9th-15th.

 

SERVPRO is proud to announce our sponsorship and participation during this time. Our local fire fighters visit children at school and hold open houses. The kids enjoy these visits and learn the basics of fire prevention.

 

SERVPRO has provided fire safety coloring books and crayons to the communities of North Reading, Wilmington, Winchester and Stoneham. The fire fighters will distribute these gifts during their visits. It’s a fun way to support our local fire fighters and give back to the community.

 

In winter, we see an increased risk for household fires. Below are four of the top six causes of fires. Notice the presence of danger increases in winter, due to an increase of usage in these categories:

 

In the spirit of fire prevention, we’d like to remind you to:

  • Replace smoke detector batteries.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Have an escape plan and meeting place.
  • Space heaters need adequate space around them. Don’t place objects to close.
  • Thoroughly clean your dryer of lint.
  • Never use a candle if an oxygen tank is used in the home.

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

9/26/2016 (Permalink)

 

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 781-935-8222

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn

SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Community News

9/14/2016 (Permalink)

128 Business Expo


On September 7’Th SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn attended the 128 Business Expo in Waltham. It was an event for local businesses to meet and greet fellow Chamber of Commerce members and others in the business community.


Approximately 400 people were in attendance. Among them were many not-profits and charitable foundations as well. These groups do a great deal of fund raising at such events through the local business community. SERVPRO was one of the participating companies.  The expo was a great way to network with other business owners in our area. We at SERVPRO also appreciate the opportunity to educate the group on our services and community involvement.  


Thank you to the Westin Waltham-Boston Hotel for providing a great evening and a lovely venue. We look forward to future events.

Networking Event

9/14/2016 (Permalink)

Multi-Chamber Event, Chamber of Commerce

On August 24’Th SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn attended and displayed at the Multi-Chamber event in Burlington.

SERVPRO is proud to be active members of the NSCC, North Suburban Chamber of Commerce. The NSCC serves the communities of Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Carlisle, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, and Woburn as well as Hanscom Air Force Base.

The event was held at the Café Escadrille. They provided a great evening, delicious appetizers and a fantastic venue. Several hundred were in attendance.

Many local businesses as well as non-profits joined us. As always, these events are a good chance to network with local businesses, but more importantly, they provide a great opportunity for charitable groups to make enormous strides in their fund raising efforts.

Here to Help

8/31/2016 (Permalink)

Helping Hand

If you’re a home or business owner the day will most likely come when you need help with an emergency. It may be a flood, fire, burst pipe or faulty sprinkler system.

Your first action in many instances should be to call 911. Your towns’ finest (fire, ambulance and police personnel) are trained to help in an emergency; this much we know.

But, what can you do yourself? How can you prepare? September is national preparedness month. Visit https://www.ready.gov/september It’s filled with useful tips, lists of items everyone should have on hand, and so much more.

There’s more that you can do. SERVPRO is serious about helping local home and business owners. We’re so serious that we put our own resource together. It’s a free, very useful phone application that can be found at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/

It holds all your critical contacts (water, fire, electric, insurance and more) in one place. You can locate, photograph and tag things like water and electric shut offs. Home owners and business owners alike can access and use this free tool. It can be a bit more involved for a commercial building so call and we’ll assist you for free.

Fire

8/31/2016 (Permalink)

Warning

FIRE!

We all know that we’re in the middle of one of the worst local droughts on record. This blog is just a friendly reminder to be extra careful.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with Smokey the Bear and his fire danger meter. One fire fighter told me that it’s at “Extreme” right now. That’s as high as you can get, and it’s rare in this area.

 Your town may have ordinances (temporary or otherwise) against outdoor fires. Check with your local authorities.

http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/dfs/ (The “dfs” stands for Department of Fire Services)

Even some camp grounds in New England have a temporary moratorium on fires. Check locally about that as well.

There is so much more to say about fire safety. October 9-15 is national fire prevention week and we’ll have more then. In the meantime feel free to check out the following sites.

http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/resources/safety-tip-sheets

http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/campaigns/fire-prevention-week

Fed Up With Foul Smelling Clothes?

8/26/2016 (Permalink)

Foul Smelling Clothes?


Do you store your cool weather clothes away during summer?  If so, this can help!


Clothes with a musty smell can usually be taken care of by using one of these common household products.



  • Baking soda

  • White vinegar

  • Borax


Just fill your washing machine with clothes, hot water and your normal detergent. Once full, pour a cup of your selected product in and agitate to ensure it’s mixed properly. You can use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, a half cup each.


For best results dry the clothes outside. A sunny breezy day is best. A place that gets both wind and sun is ideal.


Keep in mind, if your clothes smell musty it’s because of mold. Our team at SERVPRO are here to help

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