Recent Water Damage Posts

4 Mistakes Homeowners Make When Dealing With Wet Carpet

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Wet carpet Wet carpet in Woburn, MA

4 Mistakes Homeowners Make When Dealing With Wet Carpet

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

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

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

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

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

How To Reduce Water Damage To Your Dining Room Table

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

Selective focus on edge of water damaged swelled laminated plywood Swelling wood on table

When the plumbing in your home’s ceiling busts and water comes crashing down upon your dining room table, the most sentimental piece of wood-based family furniture you own could be ruined forever. Whether made of oak, maple, cherry, or walnut, any liquid causes distressing discoloration and cracking. Despite this, you can take steps to lessen the chance of swelling wood causing your table to suffer irreparable harm.

How To Reduce Leaks

Pipes become compromised as a result of:

  • Freezing
  • Old age
  • Unusual blockages

Have your system cleared of these complications before the need for an expensive water pipe repair arises. Remember that a broken supply line can also be the catalyst for a damp, destructive situation. Consider hiring professionals to perform periodic checks.
Should preventive measures fail, the destruction can be extensive. If more than just your table becomes compromised and structural concerns regarding flooring and drywall surface, hire a water damage restoration authority immediately.

How To Reduce Swelling Wood in Tables
Unlike in the above scenario, preserving soaked dining tables does not require vast expertise. Follow these recommendations.
Because wood is porous, it expands and contracts in response to moisture. Using a clean cloth, promptly wipe up any that has accumulated. Damp areas can be dried with heat, but limit this process to no more than two or three hours as continuous exposure initiates warping.
Once your piece has dried, move it away from direct sunlight and heating vents. Relocate the item to a different room if necessary.
Wherever you place your table, keep humidity levels as consistent as possible by using a humidifier or dehumidifier depending upon your situation. Your air’s saturation level should rest somewhere between 25 and 35 percent.
Prevent swelling wood from forever demolishing your favorite family gathering centerpiece by keeping it dry and avoiding excessive warmth. With any luck, you will be able to continue entertaining in Burlington, MA, exactly the way you always 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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

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)

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.

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)

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." 

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.