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A Homeowner’s Clean and Unsanitary Water Leak Guide

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage A Homeowner’s Clean and Unsanitary Water Leak Guide Water leak in ceiling in Quincy,MA

When you think of a flood and a water leak, different images may come to mind. The truth is leaks and flooding can originate from a variety of sources ranging in severity from clean to extremely contaminated water. To help preserve both their health and property, it’s important for every homeowner in Quincy,MA, to understand the different forms of water damage that can impact their residence.

Clean Water Leaks

Water can leak from a variety of clean sources, such as the following:

  • An appliance water supply line
  • Kitchen and bathroom faucets
  • Toilet tank
  • Pipes

This water is free of contaminates and poses no health concerns. However, to reduce the risk of mold growth, it’s essential that you promptly dry or remove any saturated items soaked from a sanitary source, including damaged drywall and insulation.

Grey Water Sources

Your home can also sustain damage from grey water, which may contain bacteria and other potentially harmful substances. A leaking washing machine or dishwasher and an overflowing toilet bowl containing urine are examples of potential grey water sources.

Because it encountered other substances, this is considered contaminated water, which may pose a health risk. For this reason, you should dry and thoroughly cleanse any area flooded by grey water.

Unsanitary Flooding

Your home may also be susceptible to damage caused by highly unsanitary sources, also known as black water:

  • A sewer backup
  • Overflowing toilet with fecal matter
  • Flooding originating from rivers, lakes or streams

An abundance of potentially detrimental contaminates makes this fluid hazardous. Any objects saturated by it should be discarded or carefully sanitized. Because unsanitary flooding can be extremely tedious to manage, you may want to contact a professional flood cleanup crew to help you efficiently address the situation.

A Prompt Response Is Key

A flooded home may be one of your worst nightmares, especially if the problem originates from a contaminated water source. Although the cleanup process may be daunting, taking prompt action can help safeguard your health and spare your home from additional damage.

Keep Mold Out of Your Ducts

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Keep Mold Out of Your Ducts Clean your HVAC in your Montclair,MA property to keep the air clean

Mold can grow anywhere if there's enough moisture, so it’s not uncommon to find it in air ducts and HVAC vents. If you suspect that mold has made itself at home in your system, it may be time to schedule a visit from an HVAC cleaning professional.

What You Need To Know

It doesn't take much for mold to establish a presence in your properties. Its growth is supported by several factors:

  • Mold is a fungus that occurs naturally and is present in nearly all environments.
  • Spores are often airborne and may enter your commercial buildings along with dust.
  • It doesn't take much to support mold colonies.

Mold often grows inside ducts, so regular HVAC cleaning is an important step in eliminating the problem, even if you haven't noticed signs of its presence. However, even with routine cleanings, you should still watch for signs that the fungus has appeared in the ducts.

Visually Inspect At-Risk Areas

Make it a habit to walk through your properties, looking for signs of humidity or leaks. Regularly check evaporator coils and drip pans, around appliances, and in dark corners of the buildings. In addition to mold itself, keep an eye out for puddles of water, blocked drains, condensation on or around windows, and similar signs of trouble.

Trust Your Nose

Some hidden mold colonies grow in places you can't see, but the resulting mildew-y smells are clear indications of trouble. Don't wait until you can see mold growth before cleaning vents and replacing filters. The distinctive smell of mildew should prompt quick action.

Hire Professionals

If it's hard to see mold, it's also certainly hard to reach. When you suspect that fungus has spread into your vents or behind your walls, contact a professional mold remediation company to inspect and treat the problem.

Mold occurs naturally, but that doesn't mean you want it on your Montclair,MA, property. Prevent trouble by inspecting your property and taking action when you recognize growth by sight or smell. Schedule routine HVAC cleaning sessions to keep the air on your property clean.

Tips for Treating a Burn in The Workplace

11/22/2018 (Permalink)

A blaze in the workplace can pose various risks, from fire damage to your property to burn injuries to your employees. A burn at work can present a serious situation, making it hard to continue working or even resulting in an emergency. For these and many more reasons, it’s important that your Quincy,MA, employees know what to do and what not to do if a colleague suffers a burn injury.

Understanding Burns

To properly administer burn first aid, an employee must first know a little bit about burns. The intensity, or “degree”, of a burn depends on how many layers it affects.

  • A minor burn that affects the first layer of skin is called a first-degree burn
  • A burn with reddened skin and some blistering is a second-degree burn
  • Skin that looks charred and may appear white is typical of a third-degree burn

A first- or even second-degree burn can initially be treated with some on the spot first aid while a third-degree burn requires immediate professional care. An incident that results in serious fire damage is often associated with third-degree burns.

Treating First- and Second-Degree Burns

These can include surface-level burns and are generally relatively minor. Move the employee to a clean area, immerse the burn in cold water to relieve pain then cover with sterile gauze from your first-aid kit to prevent infection.
Treating Third-Degree Burns

These types of injuries are serious and require medical assistance immediately. Call 911, and in the meantime, lay the victim down and elevate any severely burned limbs. Whatever degree of burn, make sure not to use any home remedies such as butter or even ice, as these can make things worse.
How you treat a burn can impact your employee’s health and productivity in the long run. When planning for fire damage or other emergency events, be sure to prepare employees with these first aid tips.

3 Things You Should Do After a Flood If You Don’t Have Flood Insurance

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Things You Should Do After a Flood If You Don’t Have Flood Insurance House flood after a pipe break in Carthage,MA

Cleanup And Restoration Process

If a flood occurs in Carthage,MA and you do not have flood insurance for your home, you may not know what to do next. However, there are several steps you can take that may help make the cleanup and restoration process easier.

1. Apply for Aid

Even if you do not have flood insurance prior to a flood occurring, you may be eligible to receive financial aid. FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) often provides assistance to those who have experienced storm damage. Contacting the agency directly is the best way to know if you can receive assistance. Additionally, by contacting the agency, you can learn the steps you need to take in order to apply for aid.

2. Clean the Area

If you do not have flood insurance are waiting to learn if you are going to receive financial aid, this does not mean that you cannot start to clean your home. Opening windows, removing valuable items and clearing your home of debris is an important step in the restoration process. However, if your home is by a flood plain and your home is filled with debris from water, it is best to be safe and have professionals clean the home.

3. Make Repairs

Although financial assistance can help cover the costs of medical expenses and temporary housing, assistance from FEMA does not cover the full costs of home repairs. While major damage might be covered, waiting to make repairs can allow for more damage to occur. Instead of putting off making repairs, start the restoration process and document the costs of repairs in case major damage is covered.

It can be helpful to understand that you can receive financial aid even without flood insurance. Knowing that you don’t have to put cleaning up and repairs on hold can also help to prevent further damage from occurring. As you start to rebuild, it can be useful to work with water damage restoration professionals who can help you safely clean your home and make repairs.

Over the Range Microwave Cleaning: How to Prevent Smells and Ensure Longevity

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Over the Range Microwave Cleaning: How to Prevent Smells and Ensure Longevity Avoid odors in your microwave with a maintenance routine

A microwave can produce a smoke smell when not properly cleaned and maintained. There are several ways to avoid the development of strange odors, but routine maintenance is key. Follow the suggestions below to reduce the risk of odor.

1. Replace the Charcoal Filter

Microwaves that vent to the inside depend on charcoal filters to prevent pollutants and other substances from dispersing into your home. Most manufacturers recommend replacing these filters once every six months. You can access the charcoal filter by removing the vent grill and proceeding with the steps provided by the manufacturer.

2. Clean the Grease Filter

The grease filter is another part of your appliance that may produce an odor, like a smoke smell, if not routinely cleaned. While a charcoal filter needs to be replaced every six months, a grease filter should be thoroughly cleaned once a month. Most manufacturers provide instructions for this, but if not, you can soak the filter in soapy water and gently brush away debris. 

3. Scrub Down or Steam Clean 

Another way to minimize odors is to clean the interior routinely. You can wash it down after every use, but cleaning it weekly or monthly, depending on your overall use, should suffice. Steam cleaning with vinegar and water is an excellent way to wash down the appliance because the vinegar mixture will help to loosen any residual food particles.

4. Follow Manufacturer Instructions

It is important to follow manufacturer instructions when cleaning and maintaining your appliances because failure to do so can void any warranties provided with the purchase. Additionally, the failure to maintain equipment properly can lead to property damage that may require a specialist from Montclair, MA, to fix, and that damage may be costlier and more time-consuming than maintaining your appliance from the beginning. 

If you do not maintain your appliance, you may end up with a smoke smell, but many of these odors can be avoided with routine maintenance. Replacing your charcoal filter every six months, cleaning your grease filter monthly, and steam cleaning your microwave’s interior weekly can ensure the longevity of your appliance.

4 Fool-Proof Ways To Keep Your Business Safe During a Winter Storm

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 4 Fool-Proof Ways To Keep Your Business Safe During a Winter Storm This facility was heavily flooded after a pipe burst in Merrymount,MA

Every year, winter storm damage wreaks havoc on businesses in Merrymount,MA. Your business does not have to be a sitting duck, however. With a bit of preparation, you can increase the chances your business will survive the winter without sustaining significant damage.

Here are four fool-proof ways to keep your business safe.

1. Keep an Eye on the Forecast
Winter weather can sneak up on business owners. When the temperature falls, you should pay special attention to the forecast. If a blizzard is on the horizon, sealing windows and doors is a good way to minimize storm damage. Also, planning for snow removal before ice dams have a chance to form helps you keep water damage in check.

2. Watch for Pipe Problems
In frigid winter months, pipes are at increased risk of freezing. If you want to avoid a pipe break, you should think about draining water from your business’s plumbing system before pipes freeze.

3. Remove Debris
High winds, snow and ice are common when a winter storm blows into town. These are not friends of your business’s landscaping or roof. Before winter weather hits, try to clear low-hanging branches from over your business. Also, remove any debris that could accumulate snow and ice.

4. Winterize
Finally, it is difficult to overstate the importance of winterizing your business. If there are parts you only use during warm-weather months, you should pack them up for the winter. Inspecting the premises for signs of weather damage and storing unnecessary equipment is a good idea. Also, plan to leave unused areas clean until the weather warms up again.

If your business sustains winter storm damage, you must work to remediate it as quickly as possible. Often, collaborating with a restoration service in Merrymount,MA, is your best bet. These professionals have the skill and equipment to return your business to its pre-damage condition in a safe and responsible way.

4 Common Causes of Basement Floods

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 4 Common Causes of Basement Floods Church flood in Quincy, MA

A basement flood is a terrible inconvenience at any time, and some homeowners have to deal with this trouble many times. Sadly, some of these homeowners could have prevented further flooding but didn't recognize the reasons their homes were flooding.

1. Unsuitable Home Sites

Unfortunately, there's not much you can do if you've already moved into a home on sloped terrain or the low part of the yard. However, once you understand this situation, you may be able to alleviate the problem by working closely with home remediation specialists. Maybe you'll need to work with professional landscapers to adjust the shape of your property.

2. Damaged Drainage System

Sometimes downspouts of drainage systems are positioned within 6 feet of the basement or they point toward the home rather than away. It doesn't take long for this water to get into the basement and cause water damage to walls, carpeting, and belongings. A drainage system that doesn't work appropriately can often be fixed on a weekend.

3. Broken Pipes

Many of the pipes running through the walls, ceilings, and floors of your home carry water. Without a little bit of maintenance, those pipes can weaken, crack, or rust, turning into openings. Sometimes home repairs result in connections that aren't completely sealed. These can all lead to flooded basements.

4. Lack of Home Maintenance

Too often, homeowners ignore minor tasks, such as cleaning the leaves out of the gutters around the roof. That collection of debris leads to clogs and more damage. Eventually, this can lead to leaks within the walls that reach the very foundation of the home. It isn't surprising when this type of damage leads to a basement flood. Don't forget to remove hoses from the home before cold weather settles in.

A basement flood is more than inconvenient. It can be an expensive and time-consuming problem that often affects mementos and heirlooms that have been stored in the basement. What are other causes of flooded basements in Quincy,MA? What can you do to avoid this trouble?

The Business Continuity Plan: What Is It and Why Does It Matter

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial The Business Continuity Plan: What Is It and Why Does It Matter Water damage after a pipe brake on a office in Adam Shore, MA

Both small and large businesses can easily overlook a business continuity plan; however, it is often the most valuable tool in your arsenal when a disaster happens and threatens continued operation.

1. What Is It?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is an emergency document that ensures a business can continue to function during any unforeseen events. The BCP will likely include contacts, emergency response procedures, checklists, and any change management procedures. While a business may not be able to operate out of a specific location physically, it is still necessary to manage assets and vital information.

2. Why Does It Matter?

While a company can seek assistance from restoration specialists in the Adam Shore, MA, area, their facility may be out of commission for a lengthy period, depending on the severity of the emergency. A BCP provides a company with an emergency response plan that helps operations continue despite any difficulty.

3. Basic Things to Consider

A basic BCP should focus on the continuity of business, and this means that it should include any revisions to management procedures, any necessary contacts, any critical data, and steps that outline any expected actions to be taken by the manager in charge. Also, BCPs are fluid documents, meaning that it may be necessary to change and revise them from time to time.

4. Where to Find More Information

If you are looking to begin the process of developing your business’s BCP, then you may want to review the information at ready.gov. You will find information on every aspect of a BCP, from the business impact analysis, recovery strategies, plan development, and to the testing and exercise phase.

A business continuity plan may be one of the most valuable documents to your business, as it ensures that in instances of emergency and business interruption, your company can still find a way to operate and maintain continuity.

Flooded Basement: What's the Cause?

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flooded Basement: What's the Cause? Flooded facility after severe storm in Montclair, MA

A flooded basement can cause a lot of stress and headache for the average homeowner, as most people store sentimental items, excess furniture and stockpiled goods in this out-of-the-way area of the home. In addition to causing damage to stored items, unexpected water can destroy the walls, carpet, rugs and other permanent fixtures.

Common Causes of Sewage Backup

Whether you're experiencing this problem for the first time or have dealt with a flood in the basement before, it's important to determine the cause to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Ask any Montclair, MA, floor restoration expert, and he or she will tell you you’re your flooded basement likely occurred because of one of four reasons:

  • Water from your home's surface somehow seeped through your foundation.
  • Groundwater from outside saturated the soil to the point where it was forced to enter your home via hydrostatic pressure.
  • Storm water built up in the city's sewer system and backed up into your home.
  • Your home's sewage line, the city's sewage line or both was clogged and the pressure caused a backup in your home.

Pinpointing the cause of the backup is key to finding a solution and implementing measures to prevent future sewage backups. A skilled plumber can help you determine why your system is backing up and what needs to be done to correct the issue.

Easy Fixes to a Sewage Backup

Not all plumbing issues require an expensive solution. If you're lucky, the fix will be something as simple and affordable as one of the following four solutions:

  • Extend your downspouts farther away from your home.
  • Redo the pavement around your home so that it slopes away from the foundation.
  • Seal the pavement that buts up to your home to prevent water from leaking in through the cracks.
  • Re-grade your landscaping so that water flows away from your home.
  • Keep lawn irrigation away from your home.

If you're dealing with a flooded basement, the best thing you can do is contact a flood restoration expert for cleanup assistance. Afterward, schedule an appointment with a plumber to determine the root of the issue and fix it for good.

10 Facts About Mold

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 10 Facts About Mold Mold on boat in Quincy, MA

10 Facts About Mold

Many homeowners will experience mold damage at some point. If you think there is mold growth in your home in Quincy, MA, it may be helpful to understand a few facts about mold. There is a difference between mold being present and mold being a problem.

1. Mold is all around. Mold only becomes a problem when it is drawn to a surface to land and thrive on.

2. Mold likes moisture. Mold needs water to grow rapidly. Areas with high humidity often see more frequent mold growth.
3. Mold smells musty. One of the first signs that you have a mold problem is that you will smell a dank, stale odor.

4. Mildew is not mold. What most people think of as mildew in their bathroom is more likely a type of mold. Mildew mainly grows on plants, whereas mold tends to grow on surfaces.

5. Bleach doesn't kill mold. Because bleach is mostly water, it can actually increase mold growth. Rather than killing it, it merely turns it white.

6. Mold is airborne, but doesn't stay that way. Mold travels indoors by hitching a ride on clothes, shoes, bags and pets.

7. Mold is diverse. There are over 10,000 species of mold, and they come in a variety of colors and textures. Only a handful of species are common indoors.

8. Mold happens quickly. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours after excess moisture has entered the environment.

9. Test kits aren't helpful. Because DIY test kits report the presence of mold rather than the excess of it, they aren't helpful in detecting a problem. A test by a certified industrial hygienist is necessary.

10. Mitigation is for the experts. While you may be able to take care of a small patch of mold in your home, large problems require professional mitigation so that they don't get bigger or return.

Whether the mold growth in your home is the result of water damage or humidity, knowing how to resolve the problem and prevent it is important. Armed with these facts, you are more likely to notice signs of mold.