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Waltham, Mass. Furnace Puffback Cleanup

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Waltham, Mass. Furnace Puffback Cleanup Puffback soot residue is hazardous to breathe and difficult to clean

A furnace puffback creates a mess of pressurized soot that gets into everything. If you do not clean it right the first time, you may find yourself living with permanent soot stains and odors.

Waltham Furnace Puffback

Last month, our franchise responded to a soot loss in a single-family cape in which the cause of loss was a puffback from the furnace. Soot had entered two HVAC systems and spread to all three levels of the home.

Upon receiving approval from the insurance carrier’s adjuster, our crew cleaned all surfaces of the main floor: ceilings, walls, counters, cabinets, and floors. We cleaned all fixtures and hard surface objects in and out of the cabinets. We also performed a thorough duct cleaning of the HVAC systems.

Specialized Recommendations

We recommended a professional drycleaner for any soft goods like drapes and clothing that were not considered a total loss. And we suggested that porous wood fixtures be assessed for painting with a sealant to keep the soot aromas from seeping out over time.

Prevent Puffbacks

You can avoid puffbacks by keeping your heating system maintained with regular service visits from an HVAC professional.

The approval process for soot cleaning can take several days and will cause disruption in your home life. Soot compounds in the air may be hazardous to breathe. The loss of soft-good heirlooms and memorabilia with sentimental value cannot be fully compensated.

A service call from a heating technician when everything seems okay is worth it when it prevents a problem down the line.

Puffback Cleanup

However, should you suffer a puffback, our franchise has certified fire restoration technicians available to properly restore what can be saved. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification approves the training our fire restoration technicians receive to ensure we provide the best advice and service according to industry standards.

Call our franchise at 781-647-9100 as soon as possible following a puffback in the Waltham, Mass. area. We will work with your insurance carrier to get the work approved and restore your home to preloss condition.

Watertown, Mass: Do You Have Enough Emergency Supplies?

12/13/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Watertown, Mass: Do You Have Enough Emergency Supplies? Review your supplies before a winter storm is approaching

Winter may not be coming to Westeros until April, but it is here now in Middlesex County. Temps are headed for the single digits tonight, and we had our first snowstorm back in November.

Watertown, MA Emergency Supplies

Now is the time to check your emergency supplies and make sure you are ready for whatever a Massachusetts storm wants to throw at you.

Take a look at what you have from last year.

Are there food and medicine items that should be refreshed?

Have your needs changed?

Making time now to purchase these items before a storm is forecast will save you time and could save you money as well. You will not need to stand in long lines at the grocery with all the other storm shoppers when you plan ahead. Plus, you can spread your purchases over several trips if necessary and take advantage of sales.

Food and Water

At the very least, you should have enough food and water for all members of your household--including your pets—to last three days. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends storing three gallons per person or animal, one gallon a day per individual.

Canned goods are always a handy option in case the power goes out and you cannot use refrigerated food. Check the dates on any cans you stored in the past to see if you should rotate them out with newer products.

Medicine and First Aid

You should also have at least three days of medicine for anyone who takes regular prescriptions. Check the dates on over-the-counter medicines and first aid creams to be sure they have not expired. Replace them if warranted.

Batteries and Matches

Every household should have a battery-operated radio in order to hear emergency broadcasts when the power goes out. You should also have a flashlight in an easy-to-access spot. All batteries should be updated to ensure they will work when you need them.

If you will use lighters or matches to light candles, make sure you have an adequate supply.

As the Storm Approaches

Fortunately, we get adequate warning for most winter storms in Watertown, Mass. When you hear one is approaching,  do not forget to fill your gas tank in case you have to travel. You will want to avoid driving in snow and ice if possible, but you should still have plenty of fuel in case you must venture out.

Charge all phones and other electronics to maximize their power during the storm. Make sure everyone knows where to find the flashlight, radio, candles, and matches.

After the Storm

Once the storm passes, be sure to address any damage to your home as soon as possible to avoid secondary damage. Call SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland anytime day or night for emergency building restoration services.

Preparing for Winter Storms in Weston, Mass.

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Preparing for Winter Storms in Weston, Mass. Prepare today to survive winter storms

The snow arrived early this year reminding us that winter can start in November and end in April around here. As you brace for winter storms, here are some tips to prepare your home.

Preparing for Winter Storms: Weston, MA

Clear out Gutters

Leaves have continued to fall since the first snow this year. Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and other debris before the deep freeze sets in and prevents removal.

Protect Your Pipes

Water damages are the leading cause of phone calls from Weston, Mass. to our franchise. In the winter, broken pipes are responsible for many of these losses. Protect your pipes and be sure someone checks your home for you when you are out of town.

Create a Ready Plan

Taking a few moments to create a plan using our Ready Plan app will help ensure you are able to respond quickly and efficiently to any loss in your home. You can also share a digital app with those who check your home for you, so they can take emergency measures on your behalf when you are not available.

Clear Storm Drains and Hydrants

The DPW cannot be everywhere every day. When you see a problem, like pooling water around a storm drain or a buried hydrant in your neighborhood, you can help protect your home by resolving the issue.

Keep Your Home Dry

The key to preventing microbial growth and protecting your home’s building materials is controlling moisture. If you should suffer a roof leak or burst pipe this winter, be sure to call SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland to ensure your home is cleaned and dried quickly. We are committed to controlling your costs and getting you back to normal as soon as possible.

Watertown, Mass. Sewer Backup

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Watertown, Mass. Sewer Backup We make your sewage cleanup our highest priority

Who do you call when pressure in the sewer line causes a backup through all of your drains? If you are a tenant, you call your landlord, of course. If your landlord is conscientious and caring, he calls SERVPRO to get the mess cleaned up as soon as possible.

Sewer Backup in Watertown, Mass.

A few weeks ago, a landlord called us for this very reason. A Watertown tenant was actually on the throne when work on the sewer line created pressure that forced everything in reverse.

A rather unpleasant experience to say the least.

At 4:00 p.m., the landlord called us because he needed the mess cleaned right away so the home would be habitable that evening.

Fast Response

About an hour later, our crew arrived on site. What a mess! Sewage had spewed out the kitchen sink and across the floor, out the shower drain into the tub, and through the toilet.

Fortunately, our technicians are well versed in sewage cleanup. They cleaned, disinfected, and left the home “Like it never even happened.” The tenants were back in their home within hours of the intrusion.

When you have a sewage problem in your Watertown home or business, call SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland for a fast response and thorough cleaning.

Who Tests for Mold in Wayland, Mass.?

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Who Tests for Mold in Wayland, Mass.? Don't let mold grow!

Residents in Wayland, Mass. are concerned about mold in their homes. If they smell a musty odor or see visible microbial growth, they call SERVPRO to find out what to do next. 

Do You Need a Mold Test?

Mold testing labs can tell you about the species of spores in your home and the concentration of spores in the air. The report will often compare indoor spore counts to the outdoor count near the building. This comparison will show whether you have more mold circulating inside than is typically available in the air.

That said, SERVPRO franchises apply the same techniques to remediate microbes regardless of the species or color. Pink, white, and black mold are all treated in the same way. 

Certified technicians remove visible growth, discard permanently contaminated materials, and scrub the air to filter out as many spores as possible. Your home will never be 100 percent mold free because these spores are present to some degree in all air. However, you can avoid future outbreaks by maintaining a low humidity indoors. 

Invisible Mold

In most cases, our production managers can help you find mold you cannot see. They use thermal imaging cameras and moisture meters to identify where hidden water is supporting microbial growth.

When a production manager is unable to locate mold you believe is there during a free estimate, then we can recommend a mold testing lab.

Call for a Free Estimate

If you think you have a mold problem in your home or business, SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Wayland/Watertown can send out a production manager who will assess the situation and create a free remediation estimate. Call 781-647-9100 today to schedule your estimate.

Commercial Water Damage Restoration in Waltham

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Water Damage Restoration in Waltham Call SERVPRO to ensure your commercial water damage is properly remediated

Property managers know the challenges when pipes burst or toilets back up. If they cannot get the area dried in a timely fashion, they will end up with mold and other secondary damage that might have been avoided.

Commercial Water Damage Restoration

More importantly, their companies will spend more money on the commercial water damage restoration. Not only will they face more expensive demolition and reconstruction, delayed restoration may disrupt business operations or displace tenants, adding to the cost of a loss.

At SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland, our water remediation technicians have the tools and training to respond quickly when your Waltham commercial building suffers a loss. Our goal is restoration whenever possible. Demo and rebuild is reserved for those situations where this is not feasible.

Available 'Round the Clock

You can call us anytime day or night to report your emergency water damage, and we will have an experienced production manager get in touch with you to assess the situation and determine a course of action in line with our 1-4-8 policy.

Your Needs, Our Priority

You can count on us to put your business needs first and tailor our response to those needs. If you need a crew on New Year’s Eve, we will be there. If you need us to work through the night, we may be able to arrange that as well. Or maybe you need us to scale back operations during business hours. Whatever you need to get back in business and manage your costs, we want to be part of your solution.

Act Fast

Remember, the water you see is only part of the problem. The water that soaks below the surface may nourish mold for weeks before you realize the extent of the contamination.

Call SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland at the first sign of water intrusion. Our crews are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification in the latest science and technology for commercial water damage restoration.  

Weston, Mass. – Smoke and CO Detectors Save Lives

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Weston, Mass. – Smoke and CO Detectors Save Lives Maintain your fire safety equipment so you can count on it if needed

On November 4, Weston, Mass. residents will turn their clocks back an hour. When you turn yours back, remember to replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well.

Test Your Detectors Monthly

Alarms save lives, but they only work when they are operational. And testing is the only way to ensure they are operational. The National Fire Protection Association recommends monthly testing. 

Put reminders on your calendar to test your detectors on the same day each month to make it easy to remember. Alternatively, you could choose a particular weekend each month (first or second, for example).

Replace Batteries Annually

Waiting for your devices to start chirping could lead to disaster. Replace your batteries every time you turn your clocks back in November, and you will ensure your detectors will have the power to protect you all year round.

Be sure to choose a quality replacement battery and do not use rechargeable ones.

Remember to replace the battery backup in hardwired detectors as well. When the power goes out, you will need backup to keep your loved ones safe.

Lithium batteries cannot be replaced. Detectors with these long-life batteries should be tested monthly and replaced when they no longer work.

Replace Alarms Every 10 Years

Every smoke and CO detector should have a date of manufacture on the back of the alarm. Detectors should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture because dust can accumulate on the sensors over time and make a device less sensitive.

Consult the manufacturer of your lithium-battery-operated alarms to find out how often they should be replaced. Even if they appear fully operational, you should replace according to the manufacturer’s recommendations so your detectors will not let you down when you need them.

Check Your Fire Extinguishers

While you are checking your detectors, you should look at your extinguishers too. Did you know Kidde had a recall last year? Consult this page to see if your model was on the list. 

You should also make sure all adults know how to operate your extinguishers in the event of a fire in your home or business. Children should be advised to vacate the property and leave the extinguishing for adults. 

Here at SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland, we routinely see the effects of fire on families and businesses. While we are always here to help with fire restoration services, we never wish this destruction on anyone. Please take the time to check your detectors and replace them if appropriate. 

Smoke and CO detectors save lives and property. The time it takes to keep them properly maintained is nothing compared to the time you would spend recovering from a fire or kicking yourself for not being better prepared.

Waltham, Mass. Fire Extinguisher Recall

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Waltham, Mass. Fire Extinguisher Recall All businesses are advised to check their fire extinguishers

Last year, many models of Kidde fire extinguishers were recalled because of issues with plastic parts. We recommend Waltham, Mass. businesses inspect all their fire extinguishers to ensure affected devices have been replaced.

Fire Extinguisher Recall Waltham, MA

Kidde Fire Safety has issued a recall for styles with the following attributes:

  • Vertical pull pins
  • Straight, plastic handles
  • Push-button pindicators

You should consult the Kidde recall page for full details of the affected models and how to replace them.

Please call our office at 781-647-9100 if you would like a referral to a great company that can inspect and maintain your extinguishers.

Do You Have an Emergency Ready Profile?

Here at SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland, we help businesses plan to survive disasters like fires and floods. Our free Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) includes key building information including emergency contacts and building mechanicals.

All information is stored in an easy-to-access, easy-to-share digital file. We even photograph and tag utility shutoffs to make it easy for personnel to respond to threats like gas leaks or broken water lines.  

Contact our office today to schedule your ERP so your business can be “Ready for whatever happens.”

Staying Safe in a Waltham Thunderstorm

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Staying Safe in a Waltham Thunderstorm Call SERVPRO for flood recovery

Thunderstorms in Waltham strike with ferocity and can strand drivers. On September 18, a driver had to be rescued from his car under the railroad trestle on Prospect Street. Last year, several drivers got stuck on Lexington Street during a summer storm.

Staying Safe in a Thunderstorm

Never drive into a roadway that is submerged. The water surface can act as an optical illusion that tricks you into thinking the puddle is very shallow. Remember, it may only take six inches of water to overpower a vehicle.

Get off the road in heavy downpours. Every year, storms in Massachusetts get stronger and set records for rainfall per hour.

One inch per hour is a enough to cause flash flooding, but we are often experiencing two or more inches per hour. Rain at these rates restrict visibility and make driving very dangerous.

Know the forecast when planning your day, especially if you are going to be outdoors. When thunderstorms are expected, seek shelter as soon as you see storm clouds moving in.

Protecting Your Home After a Summer Storm

Even buildings that are not in a flood plain can experience localized flooding when heavy rains overwhelm storm drains. After the storm, you must dry building materials as soon as possible to prevent microbial growth.  

Call SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland for professional water restoration services. Our certified technicians will make it “Like in never even happened.” 

What To Do When You See Mold in Waltham, Mass.

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What To Do When You See Mold in Waltham, Mass. Trust professionals to remediate mold in your home or workplace

Who loves hazy, hot, and humid weather in Waltham, Mass.? Mold and other microbes. Their spores are circulating constantly in the air looking for ideal conditions to grow and reproduce. 

Hot and muggy summer days are ideal for microorganisms looking for a home, and they will not hesitate to settle in your home if you do not control the humidity. By the time you see their colonies, you have a full-blown infestation. 

What should you do when you see mold in Waltham?

Find the Water Source

Mold growth may result from humidity in the air that could be controlled by an air conditioner or dehumidifier. A previously undetected leak from plumbing, an appliance, or a damaged roof may be to blame. Improperly vented bathrooms or clothes dryers may also be the culprits.

Wherever the moisture is coming from, you will not successfully solve a mold problem until you solve the moisture problem.

Consult a Professional for Mold Remediation

Improper treatment of microbial growth can have health effects on building occupants and may lead to repeat infestations. Ignoring an outbreak will only make the problem bigger. 

Some people see mold and think that setting up a fan to blow away the moisture is sufficient treatment. Unfortunately, this has the effect of circulating spores and mycotoxins in the air that may affect the health of people and pets.

Others might tell you an outbreak can be treated with bleach. This may be true if the microbial growth is confined to non-porous surfaces like bathroom tiles, but bleach cannot penetrate porous materials like drywall and carpets to draw out the microbes. Additionally, dead mold can trigger an allergic response in some building occupants, so even dead mold must still be removed. 

Only an experienced, certified mold remediation specialist is equipped  to evaluate the extent of your building’s infestation and recommend the proper steps to take to safely remediate the problem. 

SERVPRO Mold Remediation Technicians

Our mold remediation crews are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification to follow the latest industry standards for remediating microbial growth and ensuring the safety of building occupants. We offer free estimates and can work with your insurance company for covered losses. 

Call SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland for a free estimate at the first sign of mold. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”