How to Remove an Ice Dam
Ice dam that is located on the roof of a house
Removing an ice dam from your roof immediately after spotting the signs can be critical to helping prevent damage to your home. One way to remove an ice dam is to melt it using calcium chloride ice melt.
Step 1. Using a roof rake, remove snow 3-4 feet from the edge of your roof, being careful not to damage the roof covering
Step 2. Use a calcium chloride ice melt product, which you can generally purchase from your local hardware store. DO NOT use rock salt or sodium chloride, which can damage your roof!
Step 3. Fill a nylon stocking with the calcium chloride ice melt.
Step 4. Safely place and position the calcium chloride-filled nylon stocking vertically across the ice dam so that it can melt a channel through the ice.
Step 5. To protect your plants cover your shrubs below. This is important because the calcium chloride-saturated water dripping from the roof may damage the shrubbery and plants.
Christmas tree safety tips to keep your home safe over the holiday
Christmas tree that could be found throughout your house
These simple easy tips can prevent a fire from starting within your house this christmas!
- Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
- Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety, and throw out any damaged lights that are broken.
- Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
- Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree
- Bedtime means lights off! Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.
- Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily
After your tree starts to drop needles and some may turn brown it is time to say your last goodbye and throw it outside. These simple and easy facts can really be a lifesaver come the holidays. If there ever is a problem in your home call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont, 617-864-7378.
How to prepare you snowblower from your neighborhood SERVPRO
Preparing your snow blower for the most brutal winter
The last thing anyone wants after the first major snowstorm of the year is to take the snow blower out of the garage and discover that it doesn’t work. In general, these tasks can be done either at the end of the season in preparation for the following year or in the autumn before the snow flies. Listed below is what should be done to save homeowners many headaches .
- Changing the oil (drain the old oil before adding new oil)
- Installing a new spark plug
- Replacing oil, fuel, and air filters (if used by the snow blower)
- Inspecting the belts for wear and replacing them as necessary
- Checking the tires for proper pressure and punctures
- Filling the tank with fresh gasoline (siphon off old gasoline first)
Lubricating the snow blower drive and chassis can also improve efficiency and increase the life of the snow blower. Different snow blowers require different lubricating agents; the owner’s manual should indicate what type to use for your snow blower. One part that can wear down over time is the rubber on the auger. A finger test indicates when replacement is needed; if a finger fits between the rubber and the snow blower's housing, new rubber should be placed on the unit to optimize performance.
By doing these steps hopefully this will minimize the headache and procrastinating preparing your snow blower for winter.
How to properly prepare your backyard shed for winter
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.
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!
- Remove all the things outdoors to sort out what you need and what has to be disposed
- Sweep the floor and remove any cobwebs.
- Clean the gardening tools properly and store them in plastic bags, so that you have them ready for spring.
- 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.
- Remove oil and gas from the leaf blower, lawn mower and trimmer
- 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
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!
- Avoid fresh, stuffed turkeys
- Make sure to buy your turkey at least 1-2 days before you cook it
- Keep it in the fridge and if you bought it earlier keep it in the freezer
- Defrost properly.
- Thaw in the refrigerator (every 4-5 lbs. needs one day to thaw).
Cook immediately after thawing:
- 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.
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!
- Avoid slow cooking or partially cooking the turkey
- At 165 degrees F at least
- Make sure to cook the stuffing separately.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling food.
- Keep all surfaces and utensils clean.
- Never handle cooked and raw food together, in order to avoid cross-contamination.
- Keep raw meat away from vegetables or other uncooked food.
Winterize your home inside and out
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
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.”
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.
- 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.
- 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.