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Commercial Fire Cleanup in Waltham, Mass.

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Fire Cleanup in Waltham, Mass. Trust SERVPRO to help you reopen ASAP

Fire makes a mess much bigger than itself. Soot leaves an oily residue on every surface, and tiny particles travel behind walls, between floorboards, and deep inside closets. Even when an area appears fully cleaned, you will smell fire every time it rains if you do not get all the hidden soot the first time.

Then there is the water or foam used to extinguish the fire. These leave a mess that must be removed and dried before soot cleaning can begin.

Reopening After a Fire

Commercial fire damages are even greater in scope and impact than house fires. Business operations may be suspended while the building is being restored. Fire and health inspectors may need to be satisfied before the business is allowed to reopen. Customers will suffer when products and services cannot be provided as planned, and employees may lose income. Some businesses never recover following a major disaster like a fire. 

Here at SERVPRO of Waltham / Weston / Watertown / Wayland, we are committed to getting our commercial clients back in business as quickly as possible following a fire. We understand that “time is money” is doubly true while a business is unable to make money. 

SERVPRO® 1-4-8 Fire Response

When you call us for a commercial fire cleanup, no matter what time you call day or night, we will respond within one hour and have a crew onsite within four hours*. Within eight business hours of our arrival, our production manager will contact the property manager or insurance adjuster with a scope of the loss.

During the past year, we have helped several local restaurants reopen the day after a fire. We understand the hidden costs of a fire damage, and we will work with you to minimize them. 

If you should have a fire in Waltham, Mass. or a nearby town, call 781-647-9100 immediately so we can get you back in business and make it “Like it never even happened.”

* Service Response Guidelines—Exceptions may apply under certain conditions, such as a local catastrophic event or storm situation.

Keeping Your Home Mold Free

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Keeping Your Home Mold Free Control moisture to resist mold

Mold is an equal opportunity offender. Mold spores roam throughout every home looking for ideal conditions of water, heat, and food. No matter how clean you keep your home, microbes will grow where moisture accumulates.

Low Humidity Resists Mold

Defend against mold in your home by controlling the moisture and humidity. Anything above 60 percent humidity is ideal for microbial growth. Running a dehumidifier and targeting 40 percent humidity will keep the air comfortable for your family and inhospitable for mold.

Look for places moisture accumulates in your home. If ground water is leeching into your basement, consult an expert to see if a French drain or sump pump is warranted. Make sure your bathrooms are ventilated so moisture does not build up in them. Check where the vents go. If they simply blow the air up to the attic, you may find a mold outbreak up there.

Mold Remediation

If you do see microbial growth in your home, no matter what the color, you should have it remediated before the problem gets worse. The microbes you can see are releasing tiny spores you cannot see. 

SERVPRO® franchise professionals have the equipment necessary to clean a mold outbreak. They will set up containment for the infestation, remove contaminated materials, and clean the air to remove spores and other particulates. 

Preventive Maintenance

Water damages expose your home to moisture that gives microbes an opportunity to flourish, and many water damages result from preventable incidents.

Deal with plumbing issues like leaky faucets as soon as you notice them. Inspect washing machine hoses and hot water tanks for signs of wear. Consider replacing aging appliances before they fail and cause a water damage. 

Have your heating system maintained annually to reduce the possibility of failure during cold weather. If you heat with propane or heating oil, you must be extra vigilant to ensure the tank does not run dry when temperatures get exceptionally frigid. Prevent frozen pipes by keeping your house heated and letting faucets drip during the coldest weather. 

Dry Water Damages ASAP

When you have a water damage, you must get your building materials and contents dry as soon as possible to prevent secondary damages from microbial growth. Our franchise professionals know how to dry your home quickly and efficiently, which will discourage mold growth and minimize the cost of restoration. Call SERVPRO of Waltham / Weston / Watertown / Wayland at 781-647-9100 for a free water restoration estimate. 

Commercial Disaster Restoration in Waltham

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Disaster Restoration in Waltham Our crews are committed to restoring your facility as soon as possible following a water or fire damage

Who do you trust when your business is struck by a fire or flood? Here in Waltham, you can trust franchise professionals backed by over 40 years of experience in the industry.

SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland is on call 24 hours a day seven days a week in any weather ready to respond to your commercial disaster. Our crews have certifications in fire and water restoration from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. And we offer a 1-4-8 promise to commercial clients. 

Our Commitment

Our 1-4-8 promise means that we will respond quickly to your commercial emergency. One, no matter what time of day or night, we will call you back within one hour. Four, we will have a crew onsite beginning mitigation services within four hours. Eight, our production will communicate the scope of the mitigation and expected cost to your insurance carrier or property manager within eight business hours. 

Putting Business First

We understand that few businesses can afford to take time off to deal with disasters. Our franchise professionals focus on the needs of your business when planning a mitigation strategy. We provide outstanding, timely restoration that gets your organization back to work as soon as possible. 

Nationwide Support

SERVPRO has over 1700 franchises in the US and Canada. When disaster strikes here in Massachusetts, we can call in resources from neighboring states or across the country if need be. You can trust us to rise to the occasion no matter how big your facility or the extent of damage across our region. 

Planning for Disaster

No one wants to think about the worst before it happens, but up to 40 percent of businesses that close following a disaster will not reopen. Of those that do reopen, 75 percent had a disaster recovery plan in place. 

At SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland, we encourage businesses to make a plan to survive disasters in advance. In fact, we will send out a representative to help your organization create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) free of charge. 

VIP Priority

In addition to making a solid plan to survive a disaster and get back in business as soon as possible, completing an ERP with our franchise puts you on our priority response list. When widespread disaster strikes (floods, freezing pipes, ice dams, etc.), your organization jumps ahead of those who do not have an ERP in place.

Call our office today to schedule an ERP. We want to help you be “Ready for whatever happens.”

Jordan Magda Wins Best Commercial

1/16/2018 (Permalink)

Community Jordan Magda Wins Best Commercial BNI HIgh Flyers Best Commercial Award

Congratulations to Jordan Magda, our Waltham Sales and Marketing Representative. Jordan won Best Commercial at last week’s meeting of BNI High Flyers.  

BNI is an international networking organization with over 200,000 members worldwide. The High Flyers chapter meets in Waltham every Wednesday morning at 7:30 a.m.

Every BNI meeting follows an agenda that allows members to

  • build strong business relationships,
  • share networking tips,
  • identify their ideal clients, and
  • pass referrals to one another.

If you are looking to grow your business in Waltham, Mass. and would like to attend a meeting of BNI High Flyers, call Jordan Magda at 781-647-9100 for more information.  

How To Protect Your Home from Winter Storm Damage

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How To Protect Your Home from Winter Storm Damage From burst pipes to ice dams to melt-water floods, you can help protect your building from winter's worst.

Winter storms batter our buildings every year. These tips will help you protect your property and save time, money, and headaches.

Avoid Burst Pipes

Keep an eye on the thermometer. When temperatures drop below 20 degrees for several days, you should consider taking steps to avoid frozen pipes. Bumping up your thermostat and dripping your faucets may help protect your pipes. If a pipe freezes, act quickly to thaw the pipe before it bursts. 

Ask a neighbor or friend to check on your house when you go out of town. You need someone on site to raise the thermostat or turn on the faucets during freezing events. They can also alert you if you have a water damage that should be addressed before mold starts growing

Treat Ice Dams

Ice dams form when accumulated snow on the roof melts and refreezes. Inadequate insulation in the attic may contribute to the formation of ice dams. If left unattended, ice dams will push water up under your shingles and into your building, so take action when you see large icicles forming. Consider raking snow off your roof if feasible to help prevent dams. 

Clear Blocked Vents

When snow is permitted to drift or pile up and block vents out of the building, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can accumulate inside. Identify where your vents are before winter weather hits, so you will be able to clear them after each snowstorm.

Test your carbon monoxide detectors to be sure the batteries have power. Even if the vents are clear, heating system malfunctions can lead to carbon monoxide leaks.

Unclog Storm Drains

As snow melts, you will want it to drain safely away from your building. Keep storm drains clear of debris to prevent flooding around your building. Watch for pooling water and guide it away from your building.

Shovel Around Hydrants

Everyone in your neighborhood has a stake in fire safety. Find your nearest hydrant and commit to helping keep a clear path to it in case of fire.

Seconds matter when a fire breaks out. Any time spent shoveling a hydrant during a fire is time taken away from saving people and property.

Create a Ready Plan

The SERVPRO® Ready Plan is an app that stores critical building and emergency contact information. Create your plan today so you have everything at your fingertips the next time Mother Nature singles us out for record-breaking weather. 

When all else fails, call SERVPRO of Waltham / Weston / Watertown / Wayland at 781-647-9100 to schedule a free estimate and start making it “Like it never even happened.”

Cleaning Mold in Wayland, Mass.

1/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Cleaning Mold in Wayland, Mass. Trust professionals to remediate mold completely

Mold spores are everywhere. They circulate in the air looking for ideal conditions for growth. Cold may suppress their growth, but you have likely seen mold grow in your refrigerator when given enough time, moisture, and food.

The key to keeping mold and other microbes from growing in your home is keeping the humidity below 60 percent. When the humidity rises above 60 percent, mold can grow on fabrics, carpets, dry wall, and other organic materials. 

Mold in Wayland Home

We were recently called to inspect microbial growth on the wood ceilings of a house in Wayland, Mass. Upon arrival our estimator found ideal conditions for mold growth inside the home—75 degrees and 74.3 percent humidity.

Our estimator advised running the air conditioner during hot weather to help pull humidity from the air. He also suggested installing a large dehumidifier that drains to a sink or drain in order to keep the humidity low enough through the summer to prevent microbial growth.

Cleaning the Microbial Growth

Our technicians used a HEPA-filtered vacuum on the ceilings to remove visible microbial growth and applied an all-natural, anti-microbial solution to discourage future growth. They also ran an air filtration device to pull spores and other particulates out of the air.

Cleaning the Ducts

The final step in this remediation project was cleaning the duct system in the home. A thorough duct cleaning removed any microbial growth and excess spores hiding in the HVAC system.

Not Your Neighbor’s Bleach Solution

At SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland, we pride ourselves on using the best science and technology to remediate mold and other microbes. Our technicians are trained and certified to industry standards through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.   

Some people may tell you all you need to do is spray some bleach when you see microbial growth. Bleach will not:

  • Address the cause of the growth
  • Filter spores from the air
  • Clean microbes from your ducts

And bleach can damage surfaces. In this case, bleach would have ruined the finish on the homeowner’s wood ceilings.

When you find microbial growth in your home, trust our franchise professionals to remediate the damage and help you provide a safe environment for your family. Call 781-647-9100 to schedule a free estimate.

Preventing Water Damages During Winter Storms

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Preventing Water Damages During Winter Storms Act quickly when pipes freeze or ice dams form to prevent winter water damages

Preparing for a winter storm in Massachusetts often entails standing on line at the grocery store for milk, bread, and other sundries. However, being prepared also means considering your building and the steps you may need to take before, during, and after the storm to prevent water damages and other disasters.

Prevent Burst Pipes

The number one threat to your building when the weather gets cold here in Middlesex County is a frozen pipe bursting. Avoid frozen pipes by keeping the structure warm and allowing the faucets to drip during extremely cold weather. If you go out of town, have someone check your house daily to ensure the heating system is working. 

Keep in mind, your heating system will burn through fuel a lot faster when temperatures plummet. If you rely on propane or heating oil, you need to keep an eye on the tank level to avoid running out of fuel.

All may not be lost when your pipes freeze. You may be able to thaw the frozen pipes before they burst, as long as you realize the pipes have frozen and take swift action. 

Watch Out for Ice Dams

Ice dams occur when snow melts on a roof and then refreezes before it is able to drain away. The resulting ice will block future snow melt by creating a dam. Ice dams can grow bigger every night when daily temperatures melt some snow and nightly temperatures refreeze the meltwater.

Once the dam is established, meltwater can be forced up and under your roof shingles to create a water intrusion in your home. You may not even realize you have a problem until a section of ceiling collapses.

If you see ice dams forming on your roof, you should take steps to mitigate the problem and help meltwater drain away safely before you have water damage in your home. 

Create a Ready Plan

The SERVPRO® Ready Plan App is an excellent tool for organizing important building information you may need in an emergency. This free service provides a place to store photos of critical utility shutoffs and phone numbers of key recovery contacts. This app is easily shared with others when you are not onsite, so your house sitter or dog walker can provide a timely response when things go wrong. 

If you should experience a water damage from a burst pipe, ice dam, or hot water heater failure, you can count on SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland to dry your building and clean up the mess. Call us at 781-647-9100 any time day or night. We want to make it, “Like it never even happened.”

Your Landlord Does Not Insure Your Contents

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Your Landlord Does Not Insure Your Contents Tenants are mistaken to believe their landlord has fire insurance that covers their contents

House fires are the biggest challenge we face in restoration cleaning. We have to clean the soot, we have to dry any water damage associated with putting the fire out, we have to assess what can be restored, and we have to help occupants come to terms with their losses.

Despite our training and experience, we never find it easy to deliver bad news, and we hate having to tell tenants that none of their contents are covered under the landlord’s insurance policy. The common misconception that a landlord’s insurance policy will cover a tenant’s contents costs tenants thousands of dollars a year in lost contents and cleaning bills. In some cases, a fire will cost a tenant everything he owns.

Affordable Renter’s Insurance

It does not have to be that way. Renter’s insurance is reasonably priced given the peace of mind it brings. Tenants who own cars can often get a discount when bundling renter’s insurance. Depending on the policy, tenants may even get additional protections for theft outside the home or liability coverage. 

Landlord’s Insurance

Insurance for landlords differs from regular homeowner’s insurance because it only covers the structure. When we are called to a job with tenants, we are not allowed to touch contents until we have verified renter’s insurance or confirmed the tenant will pay for our services on their contents. If there is no contents’ coverage and no commitment to pay, we will clean the walls, ceiling, and floors, but that is about it.

Similar Fires, Different Results

We were recently called to a home where a short circuit started an oven range fire that spread soot throughout whole house. The landlord’s insurance covered removing soot from the outside of the cabinets and closets along with the walls, ceilings, and floors, but we were not permitted to open the closets or cabinets or to clean any contents because the tenant had no renter’s insurance.

In contrast, an electric short caused a fire in a closet of two-story condominium in Weston which affected all rooms on both floors and the attic. The tenant in this case had renter’s insurance, so her insurance covered the $4000 invoice for contents restoration, while the landlord’s insurance covered the $15,000 invoice for structural restoration.

Losing Everything in a Fire

A four-unit apartment building built in the 19th century had a fire a few years ago. Following the fire, the city’s fire inspector declared the building unsafe for entry. Tenants were locked out and unable to access their contents.

The owners learned that restoration on a building that old would require permissions from the city’s historical commission, and they decided a rebuild would be cost prohibitive. Rather than hiring a restoration company, they left the condemned building as is and sold off the property. Those tenants who did not have renter’s insurance lost everything that remains locked up in the condemned building and received no compensation.

What Do You Have To Lose?

If you rent but do not have renter’s insurance, consider how much is at stake. Take ten minutes to explore how much a renter’s policy would cost. We never want to stand in front of someone who has lost everything and not be able to help.

Waltham Fire a Tragedy That Could Have Been So Much Worse

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Waltham Fire a Tragedy That Could Have Been So Much Worse Tremendous effort by Waltham and neighboring fire departments kept this 10-alarm fire from spreading

As we look back on the year, the Cooper Street fire stands out as the story of the year for Waltham, Massachusetts. In the wee hours of July 23, 2017, five apartment buildings were completely destroyed by arson. Several adjacent homes and businesses suffered collateral smoke and fire damage.

Eight alarms were pulled, and the Waltham Fire Department accepted aid up to ten alarms. The smoke could be seen from Boston, and the embers smoldered for several days.

Minimal Human Cost

However, we are fortunate the human cost was minimal. No one yet occupied the 260 apartments in the complex, so there were no resident casualties. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries. Dozens of seniors living in nearby housing were temporarily displaced, but all survived. 

Given the size of the conflagration and the extent of the property damage, the human toll might have been much worse. Waltham first responders and city officials did an excellent job of containing the blaze and keeping people safe with support from several surrounding communities.

Enormous Property Cost

Still, the property damage was tremendous, including:

  • $110 million for the Cooper Street apartment complex
  • 30 damaged cars across the street
  • Several nearby buildings with fire damage from stray embers
  • Many more buildings with soot stains and/or smoke odors

And let’s not forget all the fire department resources used to fight the fire, police department resources, city support of the evacuation from senior housing, and the ongoing arson investigation

Fire Restoration

At SERVPRO of Waltham / Weston / Watertown / Wayland, we help people and businesses with fire and smoke restoration. Our fire restoration technicians are trained to help clients reoccupy as quickly as possible. Following the Cooper Street fire, we were hired by several neighbors to remove soot and smoke odors.

We hope you never suffer a fire. However, if you do suffer a fire, we hope you are fortunate to receive aid like the City of Waltham brought to Cooper Street. And when the smoke has cleared, you can trust SERVPRO to help make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Be Prepared with the Ready Plan App

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Prepared with the Ready Plan App You can prepare to recover quickly following a disaster

Winter is coming. ‘Tis the season of frozen pipes and ice dams. While there is not much you can do to prevent icy blasts and snowstorms, you can take steps to be prepared for winter’s worst.

The SERVPRO® Ready Plan App(App Store or Google Play) is a great, free tool for creating an emergency plan for any building. At SERVPRO of Waltham / Weston / Watertown / Wayland, we urge all facility managers and homeowners to create plans for their buildings.

Utility Shutoffs

Many of our clients tell us the water main shutoff is the most important information in our Ready Plan. When you have a burst pipe or hot water heater failure, cutting off the water supply is the first step in mitigating the water damage. If you have to wait for a plumber to arrive and show you the water shutoff, you will have a much bigger problem—to the tune of thousands of dollars—than if you had shut off the water main immediately. 

The SERVPRO Ready Plan App will walk you through finding and photographing all of your critical utility shutoffs, so you know where they are when you need them.

Contact Info

The Ready Plan also requests key contact information so you can store phone numbers, email addresses, even account numbers of critical emergency contacts including those for:

  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Electric
  • Gas
  • Plumber
  • HVAC
  • Non-emergency Police and Fire numbers

You can customize the contacts and plan to include any information you know you might need, all in one place on your phone.

Easy to Share

By storing this information in the Ready Plan App, you will also be able to quickly share it with others—like a house sitter or dog walker—and keep small problems from becoming major disasters.

All your information is password protected. This is your tool for your preparation and protection.

Check out the SERVPRO Ready Plan today to be prepared all winter long. Of course, should something go wrong and you need a quality restoration company, we are available 24/7 to handle your emergency at 781-647-9100.