Recent Water Damage Posts

Sensing Water In Your Home That You Can't See

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Sensing Water In Your Home That You Can't See 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."

If a Disaster Strikes, Will You Be Ready?

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage If a Disaster Strikes, Will You Be Ready? 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

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." 

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.

Flooded Basement Tips

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flooded Basement Tips 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)

Water Damage Pipe Freeze Tips 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.

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.

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.

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

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

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

Flooded Basement Tips

3/1/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flooded Basement Tips 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.

 

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.