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Tips for Cleaning Items Damaged by Water

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

An underwater view in the flooding interior. Water in a home in Hough's Neck, MA

When you’ve suffered water in your home from flooding or a broken pipe, you not only have to deal with damage to the building structure and materials but damage to your home’s contents as well. From furniture to home goods to valuable documents, you’ll need to act quickly to maximize your chances of restoring these items to pre-water damage conditions. As a resident in Hough's Neck, MA, you hope to never have to deal with water in home issues, but having a plan may help you preserve your belongings and minimize further damage to them. A professional conservator will be most knowledgeable on how best to clean specific items.

Cleaning Specific Items

Here are some basic guidelines for recovering items damaged by water in home:

  • Rinse wet objects with water that is clear and clean.
  • Gently remove dry silt and debris with a soft brush or damp cloth.
  • Dry objects by air indoors as sunlight and heat can cause additional damage from drying too quickly.
  • Fight mold growth by reducing humidity with fans, open windows, and/or dehumidifiers.
  • Do not attempt to repair broken objects until they are completely dry.
  • Air-dry documents and other paper items.
  • Rinse metallic surfaces and metal objects with clear water and dry with a cloth that is clean and soft.

Remember, that a professional conservator will know the best way to clean certain items, especially those of high value.

Leaving it to the Pros
The reality is that you should hire a professional for repairing damage from water in home. Trained professionals not only know how to clean up damage to your home’s structure, but they’re also experts when it comes to cleaning your items as well. These experts are fully knowledgeable on cleanup methods including dry cleaning, dehumidification, and minimizing further damage. Their approach to your situation will be focused more on restoring items where possible instead of replacement which can be prohibitively expensive.

Getting Control Over a Continuously Flushing Toilet

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

Toilet, Flushing Water, close up Learn how to stop a toilet from continuously flushing

If you’ve ever used a public bathroom regularly, then you’ve probably come across the dreaded toilet that keeps flushing over and over again. Unlike residential commodes, commercial versions are controlled by a flushometer that runs water to flush. Most people just ignore the continuous flushing unless it’s obvious that a toilet overflow is imminent. In any case, if you’re responsible for a public bathroom in Germantown, MA, you should learn how to stop a toilet from continuously flushing.

Fixing the Flushometer

First, you’ll need to determine if the flushometer is manual or automatic. For a manual system, you should:

  • Locate the slot for the flushometer either to the left or the right and use a flathead screwdriver to shut off the water.
  • Use a wrench to loosen the top lid and screw off using your head.
  • Remove the flange cover and watch out for water spillage. Now you should see the gasket and a tiny weep hole.
  • Remove the gasket which will be covered in sediment, and clean it and the weep hole thoroughly. This blocked weep hole is what usually causes the continuous flushing.
  • Replace the gasket, flange cover, and top lid and use the screwdriver to turn the water back on.
  • If the toilet continues to flush, you may need a new gasket altogether. See if you can shut off the water to the bathroom to prevent toilet overflow or a toilet flood.

For an automatic flushometer, shut off the water as you would with a manual configuration. Press and hold down the chrome button and listen for two clicks two seconds apart. If you hear this, then you’ll need to clean or replace the diaphragm kit. If this has been done recently, you may need to tighten the solenoid.

Repairing Water Damage
As the person responsible for the bathroom, you’ll need to make sure the continuous flushing does not make the toilet overflow. If the problem is left unresolved, this could result in water damage. If that happens, reach out to a 24-hour provider of commercial water damage restoration to repair and restore your facility.

Do Commercial Insurance Policies Cover Mold?

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

Drywall covered with mold Does your insurance company cover mold damage?

Commercial insurance policies may cover mold under certain circumstances. If a covered peril has not caused damage to a building in Hough's Neck, MA, additional coverage for mold damage may be helpful for limiting out-of-pocket costs. Here are several ways to offset expenses associated with removal or remediation.

General Policies

A commercial property policy will specify conditions under which mold claims are covered. The standard commercial property policy of the Insurance Services Office has a fungus exclusion with exceptions for mold resulting from any of the following causes:

  • Civil commotion
  • Fire
  • Hail
  • Lightning
  • Sinkhole collapse
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Windstorm

Depending on the cause, a limited amount of mold insurance coverage may be available. A claim can be made for costs associated with repairing damage, replacing losses, and verification testing. An insurance agent can confirm whether the mold problem at a building meets policy requirements.

An endorsement or rider on a commercial insurance policy may be necessary to cover the cost of remediating mold damage. Additional coverage for mold can be helpful if the problem was not caused by a covered peril or if the costs of cleanup, removal, and remediation exceed the yearly fungus limit of a general policy.

Obtaining More Coverage
If a building is prone to developing mold, it may be worthwhile to add a mold endorsement onto a property policy. Restoring mold caused by flooding will require flood insurance. Additional coverage can be helpful for a structure with a history of water damage or a tendency to flood.

The average cost of mold remediation ranges from $15 to $30 per square foot. These costs can add up at a commercial building in Hough's Neck, MA. A property owner should determine whether limited coverage under a commercial insurance policy will offset a sufficient amount of cleanup, remediation, and testing expenses or whether endorsements or additional policies are necessary.

Information On Flood Zones: Are You In the Zone?

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

High above flood zone Flood zone in Adams Shore, MA

Before you obtain an insurance policy for your home in Adams Shore, MA, you should be aware of the flood zone near your property. If you live in a zone classified as high-risk, and you have a mortgage, you will need to purchase a flood policy.

How To Find Out if You Live in a High-Risk Zone

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates zones based on the flood risk of different geographical areas. To find out if you live in a high-risk flood zone, you can obtain a copy of the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for your community. The zones depict how severe the risk for flooding would be in each area. Communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will then offer flood insurance to residents in designated zones.

How Zones Are Rated

Areas of high risk - There are several zones with a prefix of “A” that are considered high-risk areas. They are further classified by the bodies of water and flood control systems nearby, but most of them have the designation of a 1% chance of flooding annually and a 26% change that during the course of a 30-year mortgage a flood will occur.
Areas of high risk-coastal: Zones starting with a “V” depict the coastal areas of high risk with the same chances of floods as the “A” zones.
Areas of moderate risk - These zones, depicted with a “Z” or an “X” that is shaded, have the chance of floods every 100 to 500 years.
Areas of low risk - Zones with a “C” or an “X” that is unshaded, have the chance to flood greater than 500 years.

Your mortgage lender or insurance agent can also help you determine what flood insurance is required in your area.
Hopefully, you will never have to deal with significant water damage repair due to a storm, but if you live in a flood zone, it’s important to be prepared.

What Should Be in Your Company's First Aid Kit?

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Kit supplies What should be in a first aid kit?

What Should Be in Your Company's First Aid Kit?

Does your company have a disaster response plan? If you don't, you shouldn't wait a moment more. Many elements make up such a plan. The plan should also account for a variety of emergencies. A first aid kit should be near the top of your list of what to include as you prepare for incidents such as a fire, flood or major storm. Before you start throwing together a kit, carefully consider the essential items that should be inside.

More About the Kits
Before getting into the specifics of what a first aid kit should include, know where you should keep it and how many you should have. These answers depend on the following factors:

  • How large your building is; how many floors and how square footage does it have?
  • How many employees your office has
  • How accessible they can be to employees

An emergency kit needs to account for different types of incidents and injuries that could happen in Montclair, MA. Make sure your kit has small, medium and large bandages. Don't skimp on the amount you place in your kit. The bandages should be durable or high quality.

Gauze Pads
for moderate bleeding, a bandage may not be enough to absorb all the blood coming from a wound. Include different sizes of gauze pads, packaged separately from the bandages. These should be ready for use on any part of the body.

Antiseptic Wipes
Before dressing a wound, you need to clean it. This protects the hurt individual and you. Make sure the wipes contain at least 60% alcohol.

Disposable Gloves
To keep you safe from blood-borne pathogens and bacteria, place vinyl or latex gloves in your kit. Make sure you have a variety of sizes.
This isn't a comprehensive list, but it is a good start to your first aid kit. Before first responders and professional disaster cleanup crews arrive, you can start helping people with urgent needs.

3 Ways Smoke Damage Can Linger

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone treatment can eliminate stubborn smoke odor

3 Ways Smoke Damage Can Linger

Smoke damage has a reputation for sticking around, whether a fire occurred at the affected building or an adjacent property in Adams Shore, MA. Many commercial property insurance policies include some coverage for the cost of eliminating smoke odors and residues. Professional smoke cleaning is often necessary to banish every trace of smoke, including these three common underlying causes of a lingering odor.

1. Smoke Particles In Ductwork
If smoke particles enter an HVAC system, odors may continue to circulate throughout a structure. Replacing an air filter can only go so far toward eliminating the presence of these particles. Up to 90% of wood smoke particles are smaller than one micron. Specialized filtration devices may be necessary for structures that have suffered fire damage or become contaminated by smoke from a nearby fire.

2. Residue On Surfaces
Smoke damage can also build up a layer on surfaces that causes discoloration and a persistent odor. Severe damage caused by smoke may even degrade finishes. Eliminating residual smoke from surfaces may involve the use of rubber chemical sponges, specialized solvents or even the use of a stain-blocking primer prior to repainting.

3. Smoke-Damaged Contents
The contents of a commercial structure such as furniture and office equipment may end up covered in smoke residue or trap particles that cause odors to linger. Topical treatments such as foam cleaning may be ideal for resolving combined smoke and soot damage. Air deodorization treatments such as running a hydroxyl generator or scheduling an ozone or thermal fogging treatment can eliminate stubborn smoke odor.
Smoke damage cleanup may be more or less involved depending on the location of a fire. If a fire broke out at a building in Adams Shore, MA, fire damage cleanup and restoration may overlap with eliminating residual smoke. Properties affected by a nearby fire may only require cleaning, deodorization, and filtration of smoke particles.

COVID-19 Cleaning Levels

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic with a green SERVPRO truck Open and operating 24/7, 365!

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 Quincy 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. (800) 421-6668

3 Tips for Keeping Mold Out of Your Home

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Digital temperature and humidity control Ensure your home remains between 30 to 50% humidity throughout the day

Three Tips For Minimizing Mold Buildup

Mold is a word that can send shivers down a homeowner's spine. After all, no one wants to detect that musty smell or observe black spots accruing on the wall; it's ultimately a sign of major repairs and time-consuming costs. What many people don't realize is that by simply taking care of water damage, residents can deter this unsightly growth and the uneasiness that comes with it. Take matters into your own hands with these three tips for minimizing mold buildup.

1. Keep Moisture Levels Low

Mold growth occurs when spores interact with organic material and water. The combination encourages breeding, with the fungus spreading quickly throughout the area. It's hard to prevent spores from entering the home, as the tiny microbes travel by air and can easily be picked up when outside, clinging to purses, clothes, and shoes; therefore, to avoid contamination, limit humidity. Use a dehumidifier, moisture absorbent product or the air conditioning unit to ensure the home remains between 30 to 50% humidity throughout the day.

2. Repair Water Issues Immediately

A small leak may seem minor, but long-term water damage can encourage fungal development; thus, liquids shouldn't stay on the ground for long periods of time. Inspect plumbing regularly, checking on pipes and inspecting walls and ceilings. Any concerns should be evaluated and fixed quickly. In addition, wipe up spills promptly and remove carpet or upholstery that cannot be readily dried. If flooding cannot be cleaned up on your own, call a water remediation company in Quincy, MA, to inspect and restore the premises.

3. Improve Ventilation

Air circulation is important in mold prevention. Run your air unit regularly, especially during hot months. That is not the only device, though, that helps. Areas like kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and closets can become excessively damp and warm. Take extra care in these places to use exhaust fans, drawing out extra moisture.
Don't fret over what could happen. Instead, initiate preventative measures. Correct water damage, decrease humidity levels and maintain air circulation.

How To Prevent Flooding in Your Office Building

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

Sand bags Sandbags are an important part of flood prevention

Flood Prevention Steps

Can you imagine what a nightmare it would be to see floodwaters invade your office? The consequences could be disastrous for you and your business. You can't stop a big storm from rolling through your area, but there are measures you can take to reduce the risk of major damage in your workplace. With some simple flood prevention steps, you can avoid a lot of stress and time-consuming cleanup.

Be Aware

There's no doubt that you've got a lot of responsibilities. Your busy days may not include much worrying about your building and what you would do in the event of a flood. However, from time to time, you should keep an eye on the following:

  • Know what major weather problems are headed your way, especially if you live in an area where flooding or other disasters are common.
  • Inspect your plumbing system and check for leaks or broken pipes.
  • Check the roof to ensure it's in good condition.

Have the Sandbags Ready

Sandbags are an important part of flood prevention. You should have these items handy for your building. Before a big storm hits, place these around the windows and doors to divert water away from the structure.

Have a Look at the Drainage

The rain gutters and downspouts play a critical role. These seemingly minor components of the building can help you avoid flood cleaning and costly rebuilding efforts. Make sure the gutters are free of dirt, leaves and other debris. These, along with the downspouts, should be in good condition. Inspect the drainage to ensure that rainwater is not pooling by windows or by the foundation.

Landscaping Ideas

Any business owner in Quincy Center, MA, should evaluate his or her property and see what improvement can be made to keep flooding away. The ground should slope away from the building. It may also help to plant trees around the perimeter. Native plants and thick mulch and soak up large quantities of water.
For good flood prevention, follow these guidelines. You can always call a professional flood remediation team to help you recover, but it's best to never need disaster relief in the first place.

Commercial Disinfection in Quincy, MA

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says high touch surfaces The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus.

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 in Quincy, MA. 

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 Quincy, MA needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today at (800) 421-6668.