Recent Posts

Signs of Water Damage in the Basement | SERVPRO® of Cambridge/Belmont

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

a grey basement showing signs of water damage SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont is a full restoration company. Our restoration experts are on call 24/7 and ready to help you.

Many homeowners find their basement to be a great resource. It’s very utilitarian, serving as everything from a storm shelter to a bonus bedroom to some much-needed storage space.

Basements, however, have an inherent issue: They’re dug into the ground, which means they’re susceptible to water damage from the ground around them over time.

While this is not an absolute certainty, you’ll definitely want to be aware of the risks of water damage from the underground as you go forward in home ownership. Let’s examine some of the most likely indicators of water damage and leaks, so you know what you’re looking for in the fight against interior moisture.

What to Look for to Determine Possible Water Damage

Unpleasant, musky odors. Water that seeps into the basement from underground may in fact be clean to begin with, but it doesn’t take long for it to stagnate, causing that signature musty odor. This happens so frequently, in fact, that many people assume basements simply smell that way all the time. In actuality, though, the pungent smell will only arise when mold and mildew are present in the environment,. While you may not see mold or mildew right away, the smell is a dead giveaway that there may be a problem.

Flaking paint on masonry or walls. Many people assume that waterproof paint is a foolproof solution for basement dryness. Unfortunately, even the most advanced paint will give way over time, beginning to crack, flake and bubble, eventually creating a larger problem than you would have encountered without waterproof paint.

Foundational cracks. Homes do often experience some mild shifting over a period of many years, but a real crack in the foundation is a tipoff that there may be a major leak somewhere that needs immediate attention. Cracks can also show up in the floor, the ceiling or in your walls and are often a sign that there is water damage that could progress into something worse. Hairline cracks are no cause for alarm, but if they become any larger, they should be treated immediately.

If you notice any of these signs in your basement, let us take a look. Our expert water restoration technicians can help you determine what is causing these issues and how to treat it properly. Contact us today to learn more.

A Look at the Types of Damage Associated With Thunderstorms | SERVPRO® of Cambridge/Belmont

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

a large lighting strike just in front of person driving down road Thunderstorms can pop up at any moment. Contact SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont if you experience any damage.

Thunderstorms are quite a dangerous weather event, and though they occur frequently, it is important to not become immune to the threats that they pose. Every thunderstorm brings the potential for injury and damage along with it, and between hail, high winds, heavy rains and flooding potential, there are lots of issues that can be present each time a storm happens.

Every storm that contains thunder and lightning has the potential to be dangerous, as lightning strikes and heavy rain are major hazards. Additionally, a thunderstorm can become severe when winds over 58 miles per hour and hail over one inch are present, posing even more possible hazards to those in the path of the storm.

Various Ways That Thunderstorms Can Cause Damage

Damage and injury from lightning strikes. Every thunderstorm will also contain lightning, as thunder and lightning always go hand in hand. Lightning strikes are responsible for over 300 injuries each year, which does not include how often they cause structural fires or fell trees that cause additional damage.

Property damage due to hail. Though hail may seem like a minor occurrence compared to something like lightning, its damages can be quite far reaching. People without adequate shelter can receive injuries from hail, and it can also dent cars, cause damage to homes that lead to water entry and lead to leaking roofs. Large hail is extremely dangerous because of the sheer speed with which it can fall.

Harm from flash flooding. Though most people consider flooding something that is only likely to happen around bodies of water, with flash flooding, it can be a threat nearly anywhere. Flash flooding is often caused when rainfall is heavy and drainage systems or ditches get backed up, which can quickly lead to standing or flowing water. Flash floods are particularly dangerous because of their force, which can knock people over and carry cars away in its tide.

Thunderstorms are dangerous and can cause significant damage to homes or commercial spaces. If you have damage due to a thunderstorm, you can count on us to help. Contact us 247 for more information about our storm restoration practices.

With Outdoor Activities in Spring, the Risk of Fire Increases | SERVPRO® of Cambridge/Belmont

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

flames and smoke from a bonfire Restoring fire and smoke damage is one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to learn more.

As old man winter starts to ease its grip on Boston and with the long cold days behind us, spring is right around the corner. Spending more time outdoors is now a priority since the weather is milder. However, with the increased outdoor activity, there also comes and increased risk of fire.

Spring brings with it the increased risk of fire mainly due to the increased outdoor activity around the grill. Unfortunately, spring is responsible for the largest increase in average daily fires.. But if you are diligent, we can all work to prevent fires this spring.

The Fire Marshall Say Pay Special Attention to These Areas Around the Home

BBQing. Single-handedly, the grill is responsible for a large percentage of outdoor fires, with lack of proper cleaning being the major cause.. When you have fuel, flame and grease in close proximity, that recipe has all the ingredients for a grill fire. Food particles that fall through the grill grates and the accumulation of grease are the biggest cause of unintended grill fires. Clean the grill before each use, and replace defective or worn parts.

The fire pit. The grill gets its share of blame for accidental fires, but the fire pit is another source of unplanned outside fires. We all enjoy a nice spring evening, but temperatures can get cold after the sun goes down. The fire pit provides an opportunity to interact outside with others. These safety tips are important to remember: Don’t leave children unattended around a fire. Keep water close by. Adding debris or other materials, other than wood, to a fire pit should be avoided. This can cause “flare-ups” and embers can be carried away by gusting winds. Roasting food should be done over the embers and not the open flame.

The dryer vent and chimney. Chimneys and dryer vents are another cause of outdoor fires. Warmer weather brings fewer fires in the fireplace or woodstove. Ash, soot and creosote build up during the winter in the stove pipe, and unless it’s removed, the risk of fire increases. Professional chimney sweeps are well worth the investment. It’s hard and dirty work. Clogged dryer vents are another opportunity for fire damage. The leading reason for fires in a clothes dryer is clogged lint in the dryer vent. Don’t become a statistic; keep dryer vents cleared of excess lint.

Has your home or business recently suffered fire or smoke damage? Our tech’s will be there fast and have it cleaned up quick. We’re available 247 for emergency situations. Call or click today and experience the SERVPRO difference.

You Can Keep Heavy Rains From Damaging Your Belmont Home | SERVPRO® of Cambridge/Belmont

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

bright blue rain splashing into a pool of water If you need help dealing with any damage caused by water, contact SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont today.

Water damage to your home can come from expected and unexpected sources. If you’re like most homeowners, you probably know that natural disasters (like flash floods) and home accidents (like plumbing failures) can cause water damage.

But have you thought about the damage heavy rains can do?

Heavy rains might not have been at the top of your list of water damage causes. But it can be a real problem for homeowners, and it’s common.

Drenching rainstorms are a common prediction during spring and summer forecasts. If your home is not properly maintained, these rains can cause costly damage.

Water Damage Is a Common Hazard

If you have to file a claim for water damage, you’ll be in good company. One in every 50 Americans will also be filing a claim this year. Depending on your neighborhood, that means several people you know may file a claim soon.

You can’t avoid all water damage hazards. Flash flooding can’t always be predicted and can cause serious damage to entire neighborhoods and communities.

But sometimes, homeowners can avoid the damage caused by heavy rains if they take the right steps.

Keep Your Home Safe During Heavy Rains

We see many water-damaged homes, so our teams have valuable insights into how you can protect your home from suffering water damage. Basic home maintenance can make a difference, and many of these projects might be on your list already.

Take stock of your yard. Knowing how your yard drains (and how it works with your home) is vital. If you notice that your yard is draining toward your home, then you might want to get in touch with a landscaping expert to look for ways to protect your yard.

Choose to landscape your yard thoughtfully. Many people choose plants and flowers because they like the aesthetic they create. But choosing landscaping items for protection can ensure your home is ready for heavy rain. Native plants, trees and bushes can be vital in protecting your home from water damage.

Look into sealing your roof. Experts estimate that almost 95% of damage is caused by water finding its way through gaps in your shingles, which can be prevented with this step.

If you need help dealing with damage caused by water, fire or any other issue, we’re here to help you restore your home. We have crews who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about us and how we can help you restore your home to its original state.

Be Safe While Using Ladders

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

man on ladder using correctly and man on ladder using incorrectly Stay safe when using ladders at all times

Take the time before you climb. Check to see if your ladder is safe to use before stepping foot on a rung. Ladders get thrown in and out of trucks and closets which may cause the ladders to get beat-up. A damaged ladder is unsafe to use and should be immediately taken out of service. The checklist to the right outlines a few areas that should be inspected before each use.

If you notice any cracked or damaged uprights, braces, or rungs, the ladder should not be used. Loose nails, screws, bolts or other metal parts are also a huge red flag. The ladder rungs should be secure and clean of any oil or dirt. Foot treads should not be worn out and all of the ladder’s labels should be present and legible. As always, only use a ladder on a stable surface. If the ladder is rocking even slightly, or if you need to place something underneath the feet of the ladder to keep it stable, the ladder is unsafe for use.

Why is inspection so important? According to the World Health Organization, the United States has the most number of deaths caused by falls from ladders. Falls from ladders are also the leading cause of deaths in the construction industry. There are over 164,000 emergency room visits and 300 deaths from falling from ladders. The majority of falls from ladders that lead to death are from heights of 10 feet or less from the ground. The number of deaths has tripled over the past decade. Most of these deaths may have been prevented by inspecting ladders before use and putting defected ladders out of service. Another factor that may decrease the amount of fatalities and injuries due to falls from ladders is proper training.

The following list outlines just a few items to train employees in regards to the safe and proper use of ladders.

  • Always maintain 3-points of contact at all times when climbing
  • Do not carry any materials up or down a ladder
  • Face the ladder when ascending or descending
  • Never overreach
  • Only allow one person to climb the ladder at a time

Extension Ladders:

  • Position the ladder at the proper pitch (1/4 rule)
  • Extend the side rails at least 36 inches or 3 rungs above the landing
  • Secure the top of the ladder to help prevent shifting 

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

Mold - Surprising Places You Can Find Them

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

mold filled dry wall Mold must be addressed as soon as possible to avoid spread.

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.

It’s Easier Than You Think to Lower Your House Fire Risk this Winter | SERVPRO® of Cambridge/Belmont

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

large image of red, yellow and orange flames House fires tend to peak during the winter. SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont are available 24/7 in the event of an emergency.

Your SERVPRO team wants to help you make your home a safer place this winter. So we’ve put together these helpful tips for Belmont homeowners.

You can find a lot of information about fire prevention, but we think these tips can be beneficial because you can implement them quickly. It won’t cost you a lot of time or money. And it will make your family safer.

Ways to Make Your Home Safer This Winter

Here are a few ways experts say you can lower your winter fire risk:

Make your kitchen safer from grease fires. Grease fires are a common problem in the kitchen. You can’t put them out with water, and pulling a skillet off the stove can spread the fire. Instead, keep a fire extinguisher nearby. While a fire extinguisher is best, you can smother these fires with a lid or use baking soda to put them out.

Don’t let your furnace go without maintenance. Even if your furnace seems to be working well, it’s smart to have it serviced every winter. It’s easy for issues liked clogged ducts and vents to go unnoticed until they become a fire hazard. Stop those fires before they start by having the furnace checked.**

Use your fireplace safely. Assuming your chimney is good to go (meaning it’s clear), then you may want to light a fire on a cold night. If you do, be sure you’re disposing of the ashes correctly and regularly cleaning your fireplace. A fireplace caked in ashes can become a fire hazard.

Be careful with your candles. Many people love the look and smell of a candle burning on a cold night. Enjoy them safely while you’re home, but don’t leave them burning when you leave.

If your home is damaged due to a fire or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have crews who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help your family.

Reporting Water Damage

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

green drying equipment in kitchen with missing ceiling Do not wait call us as soon as you can if you experience water damage

Town of Belmont 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today - (617) 489-7378

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

Your name and contact information

Your insurance information (if applicable)

The street address of the water-damaged home or business

When did the flooding or water damage occur?

What caused the water damage (if known)?

Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont

SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 489-7378 – If you suspect you have water damage, Call us!

We are here to help!

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

green SERVPRO drying equipment in living room Call us when you need us 365 - 24/7

John & Sue Butler’s contractor had finally finished the renovations. They had been living with relatives until their new condominium was finished. The furniture and belongings were delivered and they were finally living in their dream home. They came home Sunday night after a weekend away and they noticed water dripping down from the ceiling. Their hardwood floors had standing water and were beginning to buckle. They discovered that their upstairs neighbor pipe broke causing the water to run down into their unit. They called SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to assist them. The Butler’s explained that they had just moved in and didn’t want the life to be disrupted. The SERVPRO technician assessed the damages and came up with a plan that would not require any demolition. He discovered there were existing cavities he could install an Inject-I-Dry System that would dry out the floors & ceilings without any demolition or sanding. The technician monitored the drying progress and after one week, he determined that the floor and ceiling were dry and removed the equipment. The Butler’s were ecstatic!

If you sustain water damage, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

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.