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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.

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.