Recent Posts

Sewage Backup in Watertown Commercial Building

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Sewage Backup in Watertown Commercial Building After a sewer backup, call SERVPRO to get back in business

Cleaning raw sewage is not a task for the faint of heart or stomach. Sewage not only smells terrible, but it can also pose a health risk for anyone in the building.

Watertown Sewage Backup

The owner of a commercial building in Watertown, Mass. recently discovered a backup from the sewer main into the unfinished basement. Category 3 water—also known as “black water”—had affected the floor and lower walls and left solid debris on the floor.

Where To Start

Faced with a scene like this, you might not know where to begin. Your best bet is to contact cleaning and restoration professionals to guide you through the process.

In this case, our estimator was able to help the building owner understand the scope of the contamination and create a plan to clean and dry the basement.

What To Do

Our technicians donned their personal protective equipment and installed a 500 CFM HEPA-filtered air filtration device to collect airborne particulates including bacteria, mold, and microbial spores. They mucked out remaining solids on the floor and then removed and discarded contaminated subfloor and sleepers.

The crew washed the floors and walls and applied a botanical anti-microbial solution to discourage the growth of mold and other microbes. They finished by setting up fans and a dehumidifier to dry the area.

Back In Business

If your commercial building suffers a sewage backup, your tenants are relying on you to get it clean as soon as possible. Call the restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Wayland Storm Strikes at Both Ends

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Wayland Storm Strikes at Both Ends Downed trees and power lines caused sump pump failures and other storm damage

March certainly roared into our area like a lion this year when three nor’easters buffeted Eastern Massachusetts in as many weeks. The second storm was particularly hard on trees and power lines.

One home in Wayland, Mass. suffered a downed tree and a sump pump failure in the same evening causing two water damages. The insurance carrier covered the water loss from the tree, but the homeowner was responsible for the basement flood.

The power was out when our production manager arrived to estimate the loss, so we could not begin mitigation until power was restored a couple of days later. We also needed an asbestos test on materials that would be removed before we could begin demolition. We then worked with the insurance adjuster to get the necessary approval for drying the upstairs loss.

Attic Water Loss

During the storm, a tree fell on the roof and allowed water to flow in through the attic crawlspace, down through the insulation, and into the drywall ceiling of the kitchen. Once power was restored, our crew set up containment and removed and discarded contaminated materials. They then used a HEPA-filtered vacuum to remove any contaminants, applied a botanical anti-microbial product, and set up two fans and one LGR dehumidifier to dry the contained area. After drying was complete and equipment was removed, they cleaned the floor.

Basement Water Loss

The sump pump failure—likely a result of the power loss--affected all flooring and lower walls throughout the basement. Our crew removed baseboards, wet carpet, and wet drywall and bagged it all for disposal. They applied a botanical anti-microbial product, HEPA vacuumed and dried the area, and then cleaned the floors.

Protect Against Mold Growth

When winter storms batter your home, you can trust SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown Wayland to dry your building properly and protect materials from future microbial growth caused by the storm’s intrusion. We are available 24/7 to take your call and schedule your free estimate.

Mold Happens When Water Damage Is Ignored

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Happens When Water Damage Is Ignored Moisture barriers prevent mold traveling to other areas during remediation

Water damage from ice dams and storm events other than flooding is usually covered by a homeowners insurance policy. However, if you ignore the damage and mold grows as a result, the mold remediation is often not covered by insurance.

Watertown Mold Damage from Old Ice Dam

A condominium association in Watertown, Mass. called us about a mold problem this winter. Apparently, an ice dam from the last winter (2016 -2017) had caused water damage in the attic that then traveled to the ceiling and walls of a third story bedroom. The owner of the condo unit was suffering health issues believed to be related to elevated mold spore counts in that bedroom.

When our estimator arrived at the condo, he found a hole in the bedroom ceiling caused by water intrusion and damage to adjacent walls. In the attic, he saw microbial staining on the wood sheathing.

Asbestos Testing

Before our crew could begin any demolition work, we had to consult an asbestos testing company in accordance with Massachusetts DEP law 310 CMR 7:15 (4). Fortunately, no asbestos was found and we were clear to proceed.

Bedroom Mold Remediation

Our technicians put on protective equipment, set up containment for the bedroom to prevent microbes traveling to other parts of the condo, and completed demolition on affected ceiling, insulation, and walls. They installed a 500 CFM HEPA-filtered air filtration device, used a HEPA-filtered vacuum on any remaining affected structural elements, cleaned these elements with a mold remediation solution, and applied a botanical anti-microbial product to suppress future microbe growth.

Attic Mold Remediation

In the attic, our crew installed another 500 CFM HEPA-filtered air filtration device, removed affected insulation, HEPA vacuumed all structural elements in the vicinity of the damage, treated any visible microbial growth with remediation solution, and finally applied anti-microbial product to all affected surfaces.

Treat Water Damage Immediately

Treating water damages as soon as they happen is key to maintaining a healthy environment in your home. Please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland at the first sign of water damage. We offer free estimates and will work with your insurance carrier to simplify the process.

Of course, if you miss the early signs of a water damage and you find the problem has progressed to mold, you can trust our certified Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Jordan Magda Wins March WOW Award

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

General Jordan Magda Wins March WOW Award [l to r] Steve Taylor, Jordan Magda, Tammi Kibler

Franchise owner Steve Taylor honored Sales and Marketing Representative Jordan Magda for "Wicked Outstanding Work" during March 2018.

Jordan exceeded his quarterly revenue goal for the first full quarter worked, and he has written six Emergency Ready Plans for property managers on properties as large as 400,000 square feet.

Jordan is an active member of BNI High Flyers and the Waltham Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals.

If you need help creating a disaster plan for your Waltham facility, please call Jordan Magda for a free consultation at 781-647-9100. 

Sump Pump Failure in Weston, Mass.

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Sump Pump Failure in Weston, Mass. Sump pump failure contaminates carpet

When it rains, it pours and basements start flooding. Many homeowners in Middlesex County are wise to the value of installing a French drain and sump pump to keep rainwater out of their basements. Unfortunately, sump pumps fail from time to time.

Weston Sump Pump Failure

A homeowner in Weston, Mass. had a sump pump failure that flooded the finished basement and saturated the carpet with Category 3 water. By the time we arrived, there was no standing water, but the carpet was spongy and needed to be removed and replaced.


Our crew donned personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect themselves from contamination and set up a HEPA-filtered air filtration device to clean particulates out of the air. They extracted water from the carpet then pulled out the baseboards and removed the affected carpet. They also drilled holes in the lower walls to allow air circulation behind the walls and facilitate drying.


Once the contaminated carpet was removed, our technicians applied a botanical anti-microbial product to the lower walls. They then installed five fans to accelerate evaporation and a LGR dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air.

The basement was dry within three days, so the crew pressure washed the floor to complete our work.

Water Damage Professionals

When you are faced with a flooded basement in Weston, you can count on our franchise professionals to make it “Like it never even happened.” Our personnel are certified water damage restoration technicians, and all work is completed to the IICRC S500 Water Restoration Standard.

Fire Retardant for Commercial Fabrics

3/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Retardant for Commercial Fabrics Treat your draperies and upholstery today!

Many health departments require restaurants treat draperies and other soft goods with a fire retardant to slow the spread of flames in the event of a fire. Here at SERVPRO® of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland, we think this is a great idea for all commercial properties, and we offer application of flame retardant as one of our services to restaurants, hotels, and other commercial establishments in our service area.

Treat in Place

Flame retardant can be applied in place, so there is no need to remove draperies before applying. We can spray the draperies where they hang. We can also clean the draperies before applying the fire retardant.

Other Soft Goods

This product works on materials made of cotton, polyester, rayon, silk, olefin and blends of these materials. We can apply it to seat cushions, carpets, and other porous decorative materials to keep them from flaring up in a fire.

Fire Retardant

This product works by creating a self-extinguishing reaction that prevents the spread of flames. It does not prevent charring of the materials, but it diminishes the spread of fire.

Call for a Quote

Call us today at 781-647-9100 for a free estimate to treat your facility’s soft goods. When it comes to fires, an ounce of protection is always worth a pound of cure.

Hot Water Heater Fails in Waltham, Mass.

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hot Water Heater Fails in Waltham, Mass. Hot water heater floods can lead to days of demolition and drying.

When a hot water heater fails, the resulting water damage can be catastrophic. We had a classic example last month.

On Valentine’s Day, we responded to a water loss in a single family home in Waltham, Mass. caused by a hot water heater failure. Water from the tank affected the family room, gym, and utility room in the basement.

Insurance Authorization

Upon arrival at this Category 2, Class 2 water loss, our production manager contacted the insurance adjuster to authorize setting up drying equipment and removal of the vinyl and laminate flooring, as it is nearly impossible to dry through these materials. He also sought approval for our technicians to wear personal protective equipment and to apply a plant-based, anti-microbial product. 

Our technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) and all work was completed in accordance with the S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration.  We installed fourteen fans to facilitate evaporation, an LGR dehumidifier to pull water vapor out of the air, and a  500 CFM HEPA-filtered air filtration device to filter microbes and other particulates out of the air.

Adjuster Extension

After three days, the drywall in the gym still registered a high moisture reading, so we sought and received authorization from the adjuster for an additional drying day. Finally, we removed our equipment and cleaned the remaining flooring.

As you can see, a water tank leak can cause a major upheaval when it occurs in a finished basement. Please check out our tips for protecting against hot water heater failure.

However, should you experience a flood from a hot water heater, call SERVPRO® of Waltham / Weston / Watertown / Wayland to begin water damage restoration as soon as possible. Our production managers will work with your insurance carrier to secure the proper authorizations and will apply the latest drying technology to control costs and disruption in your home while minimizing your exposure to harmful microbes.

Weather Watch or Warning, How Worried Should You Be?

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Weather Watch or Warning, How Worried Should You Be? Do you know the difference between a weather watch and a warning?

Weather watches and warnings are issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) to alert us to possible safety risks. You hear these terms all the time, but do you know when you should worry?


The NWS issues a weather warning when current conditions threaten property and people. When you hear a warning, you can be sure that a weather event is currently happening and you may be in danger. Tune into local media to learn what you should do to keep yourself and your property safe. 


The NWS issues a weather watch when an event is expected that may put people and property at risk, but the exact time, location, and extent of risk are not yet known. Watches alert you to the need to plan ahead to protect yourself and your property. 


The NWS issues an advisory when adverse conditions are not severe enough to warrant a watch or warning, but you should be aware of the need for caution. Advisories can help you plan to avoid unnecessary risk to your person or property.

Stay Alert

When you learn of weather alerts in your area, it is best to stay informed by listening to local newscasts and public service announcements. Adverse weather risks can be highly localized, and conditions are changing all the time. Keep informed and follow the advice of your municipal authorities.

If weather does impact your home or business, do not hesitate to call us anytime day or night. At SERVPRO® of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland, we are here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Dishwasher Fire in Natick, Mass.

2/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Dishwasher Fire in Natick, Mass. Small fires create huge soot problems

Fires cause damage completely out of proportion to their size. For example, we were called to clean the soot damage after a dishwasher caught fire in Natick, Mass. Even though the fire was confined to the appliance, soot coated the entire first floor of the home and traveled up the stairs and down the second floor hall.

Soot Gets Everywhere

Fire affects air pressure and pushes soot into places you would not imagine. Tiny soot particles can travel behind walls and between floorboards. After a fire, you will find a fine layer of soot on everything, even the back wall of cabinets that were closed during the event.

If your home uses a duct system for heating or air conditioning, soot can enter the system, contaminate the air handler, and ride along the air currents to every corner of your home.

Do Not Attempt To Clean Soot

Soot is not your usual dirt. Soot has oily compounds that resist conventional home cleaners and may contain harmful chemicals. If you attempt to clean soot yourself, you may set the stains into fabrics and wall coverings or expose your family to harmful fumes.

Not all soot particles are visible, so you are likely breathing these harmful, oily substances while inside the home after a fire.

Fire Restoration Technicians

SERVPRO® franchise professionals are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification in the safe removal of soot from your home.

Following the dishwasher fire in Natick, we set up HEPA-filtered air filtration devices to scrub particles of incomplete combustion from the air. We cleaned and deodorized the ductwork and air handler in the HVAC system. We removed soot from every surface—walls, ceiling, floors—of the affected rooms and from all the contents that were in those rooms.

Trust Us for Soot Removal

Fires are never fully preventable. We regularly see the aftermath of electronic devices that have failed and caught fire. However, once the fire is out, you can prevent secondary damage to your property and your family’s health by hiring SERVPRO of Waltham / Weston / Watertown / Wayland to complete the cleanup.

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.