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Planning Ahead in Case of a Burst Pipe | SERVPRO® of Cambridge/Belmont

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

water leaking out of a gray pipe showing signs of erosion If you have water damage in your home due to a burst pipe or another cause, contact us right away. SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont is available 24/7.

Burst pipes are something that can happen when you least expect it, causing serious damage in a brief amount of time. While there is no way to know when a pipe may burst, knowing what to do in the event that one does can help you act quickly to mitigate the damage that the water can cause.

In a perfect world, water damage would be a rare occurrence—but many people are surprised to find out how often it occurs. Every year, one in 50 homes will experience some type of water damage, but a plan can significantly lessen the impact that it has.

Having a Plan in the Event a Pipe Bursts in Your Home

Shut off your water main. When a pipe bursts in your home, in some situations, it can continue pouring water into the area, creating even more damage. If it is safe to do so, shutting off your water main can reduce the overall damages that are caused.

Shut off your electricity. Water and electricity definitely do not mix, so if you are able to get to your circuit breaker to cut your electricity off safely, it is wise to do so. This will ensure that if water comes in contact with outlets or appliances, there is not a shock or fire hazard.

Contact your restoration company. Setting your restoration in motion quickly is one of the best things you can do for water damage, so it is wise to get in touch with your restoration company right away. We recommend always choosing a company that is available 247 so you never have to wait for a call back when you report your damages.

Take a record of the damages. Not only is keeping good records helpful for you, but it will also be helpful if you are eligible to file a claim with your insurance provider. Take photos and videos in addition to making a list of everything that is damaged by the water.

Contact your insurance company. The type of coverage you will receive for water damage of this nature can vary, so your insurance company is the authority on what is and is not eligible to be covered by filing a claim. Contacting them quickly can help you set this process in motion so you can get it settled as fast as possible.

Open windows and doors if possible. If the weather permits and it is safe to do so, increasing the airflow around water damage by opening windows and doors can speed up the drying time by encouraging evaporation.

If you have water damage in your home due to a burst pipe or another cause, you can count on us for restoration assistance. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services.

Ice Dams - What You Should Know

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Ice Dam infographic If you have water damage from Ice Dams, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Ice dams form when melted snow refreezes at roof edges. Anyone who has lived in cold climates has seen ice dams. However, most of us don’t stop to understand why these ice bands form until they damage our homes.

Three things are required for an ice dam to form: snow, heat to melt the snow and cold to refreeze the melted snow into solid ice. Ice dams can form when as little as 1 or 2 inches of snow accumulates on a roof – if the roof is poorly insulated and air sealed, and the snowfall is followed by several days of sub-freezing temperatures. Ice dams develop as snow on the upper part of the roof melts. Water runs down the roof slope under the blanket of snow and refreezes into a band of ice at the roof’s edge creating a “dam”. Additional snow-melt pools against the dam and eventually leaks into the building through the roof or roof trim.

The reason ice-dams form along the roof’s lower edge, usually above the overhang, is straight-forward. The upper roof surface is at a temperature that is above freezing. And the lower part of the roof surface (along the eaves) is below freezing. The upper roof surface is located directly above the living space. Heat lost from the house warms this section of the roof, melting snow in this area. During periods of sub-freezing temperature the lower regions of the roof deck remain at sub-freezing ambient temperatures. Roof overhangs are not warmed by indoor heat-loss.

Deeper snow and cold temperatures increase the likelihood and size of ice dams. Every inch of snow that accumulates on the roof’s surface insulates the roof deck a little more, trapping more indoor heat beneath the roof deck and warming the roof sheathing. Each inch of snow has an R-value of approximately 0.5 – 1. The worst ice dams occur when deep snow accompanies cold weather.  Here is an example to provide a sense of scale: A poorly insulated and unvented R-20 cathedral roof with 10 inches of snow can result with serious ice damming.  In this example, 10 inches of snow adds ~between R-5 and R-10 to the roof system resulting in a total roof R of 25 – 30. The layer of snow holds indoor heat below the sheathing and could warm the roof sheathing above freezing in the area over the living space. If the inside temperature is 70 degrees and the outside 20 degrees (50 degree differential), the temperature of the roof sheathing would be between 5/25 and 10/30 of the way from 20 degrees toward 70 degrees. In other words, the roof should temperature should be between 30 and 37 degrees over the living space. Snow will probably melt under these conditions. Yet, the temperature of the roof over the unheated overhangs is 20 degrees, the same as the outdoor temperature. The melt water will freeze when it reaches that part of the roof. Deeper snow makes things worse. More insulation makes the situation better. You can do the math for a variety of snow depths and various indoor/outdoor temperature conditions to get a sense of how the variables are related. The trick is to keep the entire roof below freezing if possible. Roof venting helps and is discussed below.

Fire Prevention

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

fire prevention tips info graphic Fire safety is important. Call us if you experience fire damage in your home or business 617-864-7378

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property in the event of a

Fire:

SMOKE ALARMS AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

Install smoke alarms. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half.

Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence, including the basement.

Install a working carbon monoxide detector in the common area of the bedrooms.

Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.

COOKING SAFETY

Never leave cooking unattended.

Always wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook.

Keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from flames

Never use the range or oven to heat your home.

ESCAPING THE FIRE

Have an escape plan. Review escape routes with your family.

Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut.

Teach family members to stay low to the floor, where the air is safer, when escaping from a fire.

In high-rise, never lock fire exits or doorways, halls or stairways. Never prop stairway or other fire doors open.

HEATING SOURCE

Place space heaters at least three feet away from flammable/combustible materials.

Use only the type of fuel designated for your space heater.

MATCHES/LIGHTERS AND SMOKING

Keep matches/lighters away from children.

Never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated.

If you must smoke, do it responsibly.

ELECTRICAL WIRING

Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs

Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring.

Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails, or across high traffic areas.

Do not overload extension cords or outlets.

If you do have a fire, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you in the cleanup

Prep Your Business for Cold Weather

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

plow truck removing snow from streets Make sure your business is always ready for cold weather

Get Cold Weather and Freeze Alert

Keep your heating systems operating

Keep your building and equipment warm. Heating systems are the lifeline of your business during cold conditions. If they fail, disaster could strike.

Immediate action required:

  • All piping must be insulated. Install new and replace damaged insulation and don’t forget to examine your sprinkler system.
  • Inspect all outside dampers for proper operation.
  • Clear and protect all outside vents from ice and snow accumulation.
  • Heat requires power. If generators are unavailable, make arrangements to obtain an electrical portable heating during outages.

Safeguard business equipment during power outages

Voltage surge protection is necessary at all times – especially during cold, freezing conditions. Severe weather can cause power loss and downed wires, disrupting your business’ power supply. When electricity is restored, the sudden surge of power can literally destroy the modem, high-tech equipment

Your business relies on.

Immediate action required:

  • Unplug it. Anticipate voltage surges during severe weather. The best solution is equipment isolation – turn it off and unplug it. If you need to keep equipment running, installing surge protectors can provide protection.
  • Inspect building. Close all windows, doors and outside dampers. Schedule regular building checks during storms and cold weather. Arrange for snow and ice removal, including the roof.
  • Who’s responsible? Ensure accountability by designating personal responsibility for loss prevention. Business and building owners must work together with facilities and maintenance people.
  • Provide emergency telephone numbers. Collect and distribute a list of emergency phone numbers and contacts, such as snow removal, heating system Repair Company, utility company, and the weather bureau.
  • Anticipate flooding. Severe and cold weather can cause flooding. Move susceptible equipment or stock to an alternate location, where water cannot reach it.
  • Always have cold-weather gear on hand. – Have plenty of gloves, hats, emergency blankets and flashlights available.

If you have water or fire issues, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

A Guide to Flash Floods After Severe Weather Occurs | SERVPRO® of Cambridge/Belmont

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

flooded water running over blacktop road SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont is your local water & storm restoration expert. We will get the job done right, contact us today.

While many weather events get a bad reputation as being dangerous or deadly, many people do not consider flooding to be included in this list. Many people are surprised to find that flooding is second only to heat deaths in total weather-related fatalities in the United States, and flash floods are especially dangerous.

One of the reasons why flash floods can be so deadly is because they come about suddenly, and even areas not prone to flooding can be impacted. Even a small drainage pond or blocked sewer system can lead to a dangerous flash flood if enough rain falls, which is why knowing the facts about safety is key.

How Are Flash Floods Defined?

While regular floods occur slowly, flash floods start within six hours of extreme rain after a storm or other severe weather, and often occur in as little as three hours. Additionally, they are rarely found in known floodplains and instead are frequently occurring in urban areas and other parts of towns that are not used to floods occurring traditionally.

What Are the Levels of Warning Present for Flash Flooding?

Because flash floods happen so quickly, it is important to tune into your local weather broadcast during storms and severe weather so you can always be alerted to their possibility. If there is a flash flood watch issued, that means that it is a possibility that a flash flood might occur and you should be sure you are ready to evacuate. For a flash flood warning, flooding is more imminent and everyone should move to higher ground. If an emergency is issued, that means to move immediately as there are life-threatening flood issues taking place.

How Can I Increase My Safety During a Flash Flood?

Being safe is so important during any storm or severe weather event, especially when flash floods become a possibility. These are some of the best rules to keep in mind to make sure you and your family are always as safe as possible:

  • When storms involve heavy rain, stay inside and away from low-lying parts of properties.
  • Always have an evacuation plan for floods and be sure your family is aware of it.
  • Avoid trying to cross floodwater, whether in a vehicle or on foot.
  • Avoid touching floodwater or allowing children to play near it, as it can be heavily contaminated.
  • Always turn around if there is water on your intended route of travel.

If your home or business has been damaged due to a flood or other severe weather, you can depend on us. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our services or to report damage to your property.

Practicing Fire Safety This Holiday Season | SERVPRO® of Cambridge/Belmont

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

multicolor strand of lights on wood floor Make sure your fire risk is low during the holidays. If you experience any damage, SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont will be here to help.

The holiday season always arrives rapidly, and as we get our homes and ourselves ready to celebrate, it is still important to keep the importance of fire safety in focus. Winter is the peak of fires in the home according to the Red Cross, partially because of the risky activities that occur primarily in the wintertime.

Cooking is always a concern, but winter also brings about the concerns of heating and decoration that are not present at other times of the year. Do not give fires the opportunity to spark by focusing on fire safety as you celebrate the best of winter.

Wintertime Tips for Fire Prevention

Keep safe when cooking. The top cause of house fires is cooking at any time of year, but more people tend to prepare large meals and increase the frequency of their baking when it is cold outside. It is wise to practice fire safety each time you cook, keeping a fire extinguisher nearby and keeping flammable items at least three feet from the stove. Make sure children and pets are not allowed near open flames in the kitchen as well.

Heat the house with proper precautions. Many people make use of space heaters and fireplaces to supplement their home’s heating system, but it is important that you always use these tools with caution. Space heaters should always cut off if they get too hot or tip over, and should never be used on carpet or near flammable items. If you use a fireplace, be sure to get your chimney inspected every year and never allow a fire to burn unattended.

Decorate with care. The decorations commonly associated with Christmas, such as trees and lights, present an electrical hazard if they are not installed correctly. Christmas tree fires due to electricity are extremely common, often as a result of the lights being plugged in improperly. Make sure to not overload outlets or power cables, and never use decorations with frayed wiring.

If you have damage due to a house fire, you can depend on us to help. Contact us 24 hours a day to report damage and receive a quick response from our certified restoration technicians. Get in touch today.

Why Our “Restore First” Mentality Is Best for Customers | SERVPRO® of Cambridge/Belmont

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

large red diamond shape sign with Natural Disaster written in large black print Have you sustained property damage and feeling overwhelmed? We are here to help, contact SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont.

If your home sustains damage for any reason, it can be a frustrating and fraught time for your entire family. There are many emotions that people will cycle through after a fire or other disaster, and having to go through the process of handling the damage can further complicate the recovery process.

While there are always difficulties to consider throughout the recovery period, having a good restoration company on your side can truly make all the difference.

We will work with you and your insurance company to make the entire procedure as seamless as possible, and with our restoration-first mentality, we will do our best to preserve your belongings so you do not have to replace them.

How Our Restoration-First Mentality Helps Our Clients

We can help you save money on your insurance. Homeowners insurance is designed to help you cover the cost of losses in case of many types of damage, but filing a claim can also raise your premium tremendously. In the event of water damage, for example, the average claim is over $10,000. We can help lower the cost you have to claim with insurance by restoring objects where possible.

We can protect your sentimental items. We have invested in some of the most advanced restoration equipment available to us, which is what enables us to save items that may seem like a lost cause. In the past, we have been able to restore irreplaceable objects such as family photos, documents and art, as well as valuables such as electronics. Some things can’t be replicated, which is why we do our best to keep these sentimental objects intact.

We make sure your home feels like home again. As we have helped many people in the community with losses and damage, we understand all the complex emotions involved. To help make the return home easier, we focus primarily on restoring your house to its pre-damaged state and placing your belongings just how they were before the damage occurred. This will help your house feel like home again so your family can focus on healing.

If you have damages and are feeling overwhelmed, we are here to help. You can call us as soon as you need to in order to begin the restoration process. Contact us today to learn more.

How Can I Check for Water Damage in My Home? | SERVPRO® of Cambridge/Belmont

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

tan wall with water damage spots showing through Do you have any water damage to your home? Contact SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont, we are your local water restoration experts.

When it comes to keeping your home structurally sound and well-maintained, watching out for water damage is one of the best things you can do. Not only can water damage cause cosmetic problems and lead to unsightly spots throughout the home, but it can also significantly damage structures when it is allowed to fester.

Fortunately, homeowners can easily perform their own routine checks to look for water damage throughout the house, which can help them catch issues early and avoid having to make costly claims on their homeowners insurance.

Tips for Doing an At-Home Water Damage Inspection

Inspect your walls and ceilings. Drywall and paint can quickly show water damage, making walls and ceilings one of the best and easiest places to begin your search. Any discoloration, particularly soft spots or peeling areas of paint, might indicate that there is water damage present. It is also wise to check up on your external window and door frames for weather-related leakage.

Don’t forget to look down. It is not uncommon to find water damage that shows itself in the floor, since that is the lowest spot in every room. Water can pool and begin to saturate the subfloor, not causing surface issues but instead showing up with warped floorboards, buckling or a general smell of mildew, which should always be checked out.

Inspect your roof. It is important to keep your roof in good shape to make sure it is keeping out all the elements it can when it rains. A pair of binoculars can give you valuable insights into the quality of your roof and help you spot any loose shingles or peeling places. Additionally, it is smart to check that your gutters are doing their job the next time it rains to prevent water from building up around your foundation.

Pay close attention to the basement. Though basements have a reputation for being damp, if you have moisture problems under your home it can be a serious issue. Look for signs of water running down foundation walls or musty odors, which might indicate there is too much moisture present that should be addressed.

If you have water damage anywhere in your home, we are here to help. You can contact us at any hour to learn more about our services or to report damages. Get in touch today to speak with a water damage restoration expert.

What Sets Our Storm Restoration Methods Apart? | SERVPRO® of Cambridge/Belmont

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

large downed tree laying on top of light brown house Choosing the right restoration company is crucial to getting things back to normal. Call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to set up an appointment.

Severe weather is a powerful thing, and it can cause significant damage to homes, property and businesses. In recent years, the cost of treating storm damage has continued to rise nationwide, but not treating it can lead to much larger problems with your structures later on.

Choosing the right restoration company is one of the most important things you can do if you have sustained storm damage. They will be responsible for taking care of your building and belongings, as well as making sure that every aspect of the damage is thoroughly handled.

Picking the right company for the job will provide you with great peace of mind and ensure that any damage is properly addressed.

Why We Have Become Leaders in Storm Restoration

Our reputation has been earned over time. We are proud to be not only a member of the local community but also to be considered a leader in the restoration industry as a whole. We have worked hard to earn our reputation, and we are proud of it. After disasters, there are many scams afoot that take advantage of those who are vulnerable, but when you trust us, you can be certain you are getting the best in the business.

Our resources allow us to take on more jobs. If there is a large area that is impacted by a storm, you do not want a company that is struggling to keep up with demand to be in charge of your restoration. Thanks to our national partners, we can handle disasters that are any size with the same service and expertise we always do. When there is a large storm, we can call for backup in the way of extra resources and workforce to handle the issues.

Our emergency response is truly 247. Severe weather never takes a day off, so we won’t either. You can call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to report your damage and receive exceptional service, so as soon as you discover you need us, we can be there. No matter what time you discover you have received damage, you can call us and be certain you will receive a rapid response from our expert technicians.

When you have damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on us to handle it. Contact us at any hour to see our exceptional service in action.

What Sets Our Storm Restoration Methods Apart | SERVPRO® of Cambridge/Belmont

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

large downed tree laying on top of light brown house Choosing the right restoration company is crucial to getting things back to normal. Call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to set up an appointment.

Severe weather is a powerful thing, and it can cause significant damage to homes, property and businesses. In recent years, the cost of treating storm damage has continued to rise nationwide, but not treating it can lead to much larger problems with your structures later on.

Choosing the right restoration company is one of the most important things you can do if you have sustained storm damage. They will be responsible for taking care of your building and belongings, as well as making sure that every aspect of the damage is thoroughly handled.

Picking the right company for the job will provide you with great peace of mind and ensure that any damage is properly addressed.

Why We Have Become Leaders in Storm Restoration

Our reputation has been earned over time. We are proud to be not only a member of the local community but also to be considered a leader in the restoration industry as a whole. We have worked hard to earn our reputation, and we are proud of it. After disasters, there are many scams afoot that take advantage of those who are vulnerable, but when you trust us, you can be certain you are getting the best in the business.

Our resources allow us to take on more jobs. If there is a large area that is impacted by a storm, you do not want a company that is struggling to keep up with demand to be in charge of your restoration. Thanks to our national partners, we can handle disasters that are any size with the same service and expertise we always do. When there is a large storm, we can call for backup in the way of extra resources and workforce to handle the issues.

Our emergency response is truly 247. Severe weather never takes a day off, so we won’t either. You can call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to report your damage and receive exceptional service, so as soon as you discover you need us, we can be there. No matter what time you discover you have received damage, you can call us and be certain you will receive a rapid response from our expert technicians.

When you have damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on us to handle it. Contact us at any hour to see our exceptional service in action.