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How to properly prepare your backyard shed for winter

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Everything you need to know about how to winterize your shed! There are few things you need to do in the fall to help make your shed ready for a cold harsh winter.

Thorough Cleaning

Your shed becomes a place to store everything, from pots, lawn mower, fertilizer, mulch, garden hose to gardening tools, and many other things. Before you decide to close your shed for winter with all your summer stuff it is a great idea to do a very thorough cleaning before closing it for good!

  1. Remove all the things outdoors to sort out what you need and what has to be disposed
  2. Sweep the floor and remove any cobwebs.
  3. Clean the gardening tools properly and store them in plastic bags, so that you have them ready for spring.
  4. Empty out the contents of the garden hose and then roll it to store away properly to prevent it from cracking or getting damaged in extreme temperatures.
  5. Remove oil and gas from the leaf blower, lawn mower and trimmer
  6. Place potting soil, fertilizer, mulch, and grass seed in individual plastic bags and secure them.

Repair the Interior of the Shed

When you empty out the shed and after you finish cleaning the floor and walls, it is time to inspect the interiors of the shed and make repairs to holes or damages that have been done. Make sure to check the floor, ceiling and walls carefully. If you notice holes and crevices, use caulk to fill them in. You will preventing pests from getting inside your shed in winter.

Give the Roof Special Treatment

Remember the roof of your shed is what protects everything inside, do not neglect to do inspections on this very important part.

  • If the shed has metal roof, there will be areas that are rusted. Clean the roof thoroughly and rustproof it.
  • Replace loose shingles and replace any that is broken.
  • If you have a wooden roof, look for wood warping, boring insects, and cracked panels.
  • Replace rusted nails and reinforce loose panels properly.
  • Trim overhanging branches from trees, as they can damage your garden shed once they get heavy with ice and snow.

Repair the Exterior

Check the exterior of your shed carefully. Look for holes in the siding and make sure they are filled Use these tips to winterize your backyard shed. It may sound like a lot of work, but if you plan on doing a little bit every day, you should have your garden shed ready for winter within no time. Winterizing your shed will boost its longevity and you will not have to worry about repairs when spring arrives.

If you need cleaned because of bugs or animals in the spring call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont! Call us at 617-864-7378.



Lets Talk Turkey Safety

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Lets Talk Turkey Safety Turkey Safety

Thanksgiving can be a stressful day for those who are cooking the meal, but do not fret SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont has the tips to making your thanksgiving meal a walk through the park!

  • Make sure to pick your turkey carefully!
    1. Avoid fresh, stuffed turkeys
    2. Make sure to buy your turkey at least 1-2 days before you cook it
    3. Keep it in the fridge and if you bought it earlier keep it in the freezer
    4. Defrost properly.
    5. Thaw in the refrigerator (every 4-5 lbs. needs one day to thaw).
      • Submerge the turkey (wrapped in leak-proof packaging) in cold water (every 1 lb. needs 30 minutes to thaw) that should be changed every half hour.
  • Cook immediately after thawing:
    1. Avoid slow cooking or partially cooking the turkey
    2. At 165 degrees F at least
    3. Make sure to cook the stuffing separately.
  • Use a thermometer on the innermost part of the thigh and wing, as well as the thickest portion of the breast, to ensure that the turkey is well cooked.
  • If you want a more moist turkey, do not  carve at once; give the juices time (20 min.) to settle.
  • Keep Clean!
    1. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling food.
    2. Keep all surfaces and utensils clean.
    3. Never handle cooked and raw food together, in order to avoid cross-contamination.
    4. Keep raw meat away from vegetables or other uncooked food.

Winterize your home inside and out

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Winterize your home inside and out Winter Wonderland

The cold weather is now upon us and our homes. Preparing your home for the winter months may seem like a burdensome task. There are several quick and easy ways to get your home ready for all those snowy winters.

Be sure to seal and off air leaks to prevent air from sneaking out

A good place to start is checking for drafts in the attic and rooftops, since heat rises. Make sure to check the basement, windows, and doors next. Studies shows that 5 to 30 percent of your energy usage is wasted through unwanted airways, so finding the problem areas are very important and easy to make sure you are saving money and energy.

    • Door Strips: Closing off space under your door is as simple as rolling up a towel and plugging it up under the door.
    • Windows: Using films around the sills Once the Air is Trapped Inside your House
    • Change the Furnace Filters: Dirty filters strain production because it restricts the airflow, forcing it to work much harder than necessary. Use an electrostatic filter to catch most of the bacteria, mold, and viruses that seem so much more apparent in the winter. A new filter will also cut down majorly on energy costs.
    • Thermostats: Most water heaters have a standard temperature set by installers, and it might be set higher than necessary. Check yours to make sure it’s only around 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keep Outside of the House Clean

The condition of your home outside is just as important to maintain as the inside.

    • Cleaning out the gutters during the fall and before the first big snowfall can prevent ice from building up and in turn saves you from fixing the gutters after being damaged or broken-off.
    • If you’re in for a particularly snowy winter, consider sealing your driveway. The dark color of the new sealed driveway will help snow melt faster
    • Another area to check is your chimney and make sure it is clean before using it and make sure to check it a few times throughout the winter to make sure soot is not being built up.

These are simple and easy ways that everyone can save money and energy while trying to keep their home safe and warm during these cold months ahead. If anything happens in your home that is out of your control call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to help with all your needs! We will make sure your home gets back to the way it was, “Like it never even happened.”



National Day of Service and Remembrance

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

In loving memory and honor of those who passed on September 11, 2001, as well as the survivors and first responders,  National Day of Service and Remembrance was established in 2009 as a day of reflection. Led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, this is a day to come together as Americans did following the events of 9/11 to help neighbors in need, and to honor veterans and First Responders in your community.

On this day and everyday, SERVPRO®   of Cambridge/Belmont salutes those who served in the greatest times of need and stand tall and strong in the mists of disaster.  Those heroes are the First Responders who keep our communities and country safe.

Always give back to your community each year. To find a volunteer opportunity near you, or to register your National Day of Service and Remembrance event, visit nationalservice.gov/911day.

The Importance of Clean Air to Prevent Mold

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Importance of Clean Air to Prevent Mold Plants can help prevent mold from breeding in your home.

One of the largest factors in mold survival 101 is the amount of moisture that is located within the air. Mold will grow anywhere on any substance that dampness is present.  Most people do not realize as well as causing mold, excess moisture can also contaminate the air as well. Mold that is located within your home is a source of pollution all in itself.  Mold particles can release toxic particles that will emanate and ilfitrait the air that you are breathing in. Also, not to mention the fact that damp itself can cause water vapor, which eventually will turn into microbial growth leading to more mold and now we are caught in a cycle. Making sure the moisture between cleanliness of the air and the actual tangle things are being controlled.

But there are many other things you can do to reduce the growth of mold and keep the air around you clean. Here are some tips from SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617-864- 7378).

Ventilation

Quick, easy and most importantly…  free! Making sure that you keep your windows open whenever it is possible will ensure a healthy dose of air circulation.

Extractor Fans

Gas stoves and cooking pollutants in the kitchen as well as aerosol sprays and fragranced products in the bathroom are responsible for these rooms being high-toxin areas, so use extractor fans to ensure the air is regularly cleared. If you do not have a fan ventilating in a bathroom where showers are located, SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617-864- 7378) would recommend installing one.  Bathrooms are a breeding ground for mold, especially one without a vent.

Clean

Making sure all surfaces are regularly cleaned and dusted especially bathroom and kitchens are a must. Vacuuming and dusting are major when trying to prevent mold and particles from getting into your air.

Dehumidifiers

These are a must! Every indoor space should have one of these as it is the perfect weapon against excess moisture, which could lead to black ceilings, paint, and wallpaper peeling off.  Not to mention the fact that it will help protect your personal belongings and keep your food fresher for longer.

Plants

Plants one might ask? Other than just looking pretty, indoor plants, especially leafy greens, are key in helping to eliminate airborne pollutants. Thus in turn, purifying the air. So next time your out and about maybe think of purchasing a few leafy green plants to put throughout your home!

A/C Unit Ruining Your Business?

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial A/C Unit Ruining Your Business? Ceiling after and A/C unit had been leaking though the celling.

Overtime, in commercial buildings A/C units can slowly take a turn for the worse.  There can be many complications that can lead to colossal damage. A/C units should be checked for leaks and serviced every year, preferably in the spring, to make sure an incident does not happen in the future.  As your A/C system runs, over time it accumulates dust and dirt in key areas that affect its efficiency. Leaving your A/C unchecked unit can make for your A/C unit to lose five percent of its operating efficiency each year.

In Watertown, Monday morning, SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617-864- 7378) responded to a call from a customer saying that there A/C unit had finally broken and there were leaks coming through the ceiling because the A/C unit was located on the second floor. There was not only water damage to the ceiling but also to the merchandise that was located on the first floor. This is a situation that could have been prevented and also could have saved the company a lot of money and headache by having there A/C unit checked each year.  

SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617-864- 7378) took the job and were quick, very reliable, and trustworthy. This job was taken care of in just one short day.  For any commercial needs call us we are here at your convenience 24/7, 365 days a year. Let us be the company that gets your business back to “Like it never even happened.”

Mouse Droppings?

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Mouse Droppings? Mice that can chew wires in your office.

Did you know that an office or warehouse can be like a giant playground for mice and friends? Your office makes for excellent shelter for mice, its keeps them warm in cold weather and protects them from animals that are larger.  To make matters worse, all the food that is left behind in an office and warehouse can lead to an all-you-can-eat buffet for these little critters.

Once there is one mouse, then becomes multiple...  Mice and rats can do more damage to your office than meets the eye.  

First, spread disease!

  • Mice may be small animals but they can carry big diseases. 

Second, droppings.

  • Mice and rats can spread diseases through their droppings. Mice have no shame and will go anywhere they please, including your keyboard and phone. That would not be a pleasant way to start a Monday morning.  

Third, urine.  

  • Mice also like to urinate everywhere, especially in a new place. It lets them keep track of the places they’ve been and is a way of leaving messages behind for their friends.

Fourth, chew cables.

  • Imagine coming into work one day and your computer does not turn on? Then imagine realizing that a mouse or rat had chewed through the cord to your computer…bummer.

Fifth, start fires.

  • Mice chewing on wires in your office can lead to the potential to start fires.  By chewing wires under your desk, the mice leave the rubber casing open, which can lead to them short circuiting and catching alight.  Exposed wires are more prone to become in contact with water and as we all know water and electricity do not mix very well.

At the first sight of any of these things happening, make sure you call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617-864- 7378) to make sure your business is cleaned properly and prevent this problem does not happen again.  



8 Places Most People Do not Know Mold Exists

8/3/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 8 Places Most People Do not Know Mold Exists Invasive mold found under hardwood floors

Mold is defined as a fungus that can spread rapidly and can take over you home and work space rather quickly. The most common places for mold to hide is, Carpeting, Furniture, Closets, Clothes, HVAC Systems, Drywall, Ceiling, and Flooring.

Carpeting

No matter how small the amount of carpet is that has liquid dropped on it, it is always a good idea to take precautions and check to see if mold has started to grow in or underneath the surface.  Some of the smallest spills could lead to the biggest problems over time if not taken care of properly.

Furniture

Most people do not realize that when water or liquid is spilled on a piece of furniture it could potentially be a breeding ground for mold.  Liquid can seep into the fabric and if not dried correctly could start to spread through the piece of furniture

Closets

Closets would be the last place that one would think mold would grow in.  Mold spores are found in the air and can land on anything and everything throughout your home. Mold spores tend to grow more rapidly in dark, damp, or humid environments.  That is why your closet can be a good breeding ground for mold spores.

Clothes

One might ask mold can grow in clothes?! Not to panic if taken care of properly this can be avoided. Most people organize their closets in conjunction with what season is approaching. Last season's clothes go into the back of the closet to sit there until it comes around again.  Which mean out of sight out of mind. This is when mold spores can start to grow. Some clothes after sitting for so long can come out and smell musty. A suggestion for SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont 616-864-7378 is to wash your clothes each season before wear. If mold does become a problem in your closets feel free to contact us so we are able to get your closet back to “Like it never even happened”!

HVAC Systems

What is your HVAC system? You probably think of it as the thing that keeps your home warm or cool depending on the season. What it really is, is a series of long fully enclosed duct work that traverse every part of your home. These are the places that never see light and can collect several different types of bacteria, including mold spores.  This is something that can be easily prevented. Getting duck worked cleaned each year can help prevent from a catastrophic mold over take throughout your home.

Drywall

Drywall loves to absorb anything and everything that comes into contact with it.  Some examples are odors, bacteria, smoke, or moisture. Whenever something is absorb it can be naked to the eyes. You will not be able to notice any damage that has taken place unless it starts to smell or starts to peep through onto the drywall.  

Ceiling

Most people will not notice anything wrong with the ceiling until it is visible. Which means, at that time mold has had a chance to grow throughout it.  This usually happens when there is a overflow of a toilet or bathtub. Do not fret! SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont 616-864-7378  has the tools to help fix your mold problem. Give us a call we are available 24/7 365 days a year.

Flooring

One detail that you cannot forget about is when flooring gets wet the moisture might have disappeared on the top but that does not mean that the liquid is not deep under the surface waiting to start breeding. More often than not moisture can get underneath and become a breeding ground for mold. Some examples of where mold can grow in a moist or humid area is your attic, storage room, crawl space, or inside your washer and dryer. Some tips to make sure that your floor is staying clean and dry is to make sure that spills, when they happen, are taken care of and not just left to seep into the floor to cause damage.

Fire In Cambridge MA

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire In Cambridge MA Building with huge flames and thick black smoke

On July 20, 2018 there was a three alarm fire with heavy smoke and soot that took place in Cambridge, MA at 2:30pm. The fire made serval road closures for most of the afternoon in order to contain the fire. It took a total of 150 firefighters to put out this massive blaze.  

When firefighters were on scene the front was still in tact but as more investigating went on firefighters discovered that there was a heavy fire that was started in the basement of the building in the back. It took many hours for firefighters to put out the fire and left the business and some of the businesses around it with almost nothing.

After the fire took place, the owner called SERVPRO Cambridge/Belmont (617-864-7378)

to asses the damage that had been done and begin restoration of the business.  SERVPRO Cambridge/Belmont (617-864-7378) is available 24/7, seven days a week to answer their customers needs. When there is a tragedy that occurs we are the people to get business’ back on their feet “Like it never even happened.”

Air Conditioning Check list

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Air Conditioning Check list Commercial AC Unit

As facility-maintenance professionals prepare for summer, it is important they make sure evaporator-coil cleaning and maintenance is on their to-do list states Sergio Rodriguez from SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont.

“Not only do you want to make sure your HVAC system is running properly, but uncleaned coils can shorten the life of your equipment and force your system to work harder than it should,” Sergio said, “Dirty coils can drastically increase the cost of running your HVAC, but one of the quickest and safest ways to maintain your system is through a comprehensive coil-cleaning program.”

Citing a Southern California Edison report, Rodriguez says that while uncleaned evaporator coils decreased energy efficiency by 35 percent, dirty condenser coils caused energy efficiency to drop 60 percent, meaning much more power and money was required to cool at the same rate as a system with clean coils.

Additionally, Rodriguez says, dirty evaporator coils can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria as airborne contaminants are filtered through the system, negatively impacting indoor-air quality.

SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont recently released a checklist for effectively cleaning coils:

  • Obtain the best possible access. Cleaning coils works best when a maintenance technician can get the cleaning wand close to the areas that need to be cleaned. Consider using flexible wands if access is difficult.
  • Vacuum coils and fins. Before cleaning, remove dry debris from coils with a vacuum that can reach dust and dirt in tight spaces. Other options include using compressed air.
  • Clear blockages. Condensate pans and lines need to be free of blockages before wet cleaning can begin, as any obstructions can cause major damage from flooding and because of HVAC-system condensate. Consider a wet/dry vacuum to remove any debris prior to cleaning.
  • Use a wet cleaning process. Pressurized water forces deeply embedded dirt and debris to come loose, vastly improving the cleaning process.
  • Use a powerful-yet-delicate cleaning system. High-pressure equipment can damage fins, especially on evaporator coils. The ideal system should deliver 125 to 200 psi and up to a half-gallon of flow per minute.
  • Apply an alkaline non-caustic cleaning foam. Use of a non-caustic cleaner helps to protect coils from corrosion.
  • Apply a mold-control agent. Adding a mold inhibitor that is U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered and approved for use in occupied spaces can help to keep coils clean and free of odor and allergy-causing mold and mildew.
  • If you need Your Air Conditioning unit checked out, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378