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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

24 Hour Water damage assistance

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 24 Hour Water damage assistance Flooded basement due to a hot water heater

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service – SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont

 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) 864-7378

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

Surprising places mold can be found

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Surprising places mold can be found Mold may be growing on your mattress

It’s a well-known fact that mold grows in damp spots, typically in the kitchen, basement or bathroom. But below are some additional spots that may leave you cringing.

In your mattress.

Why it grows there – Mold grows in damp places, and though you might not like to think about it, your mattress can get damp. It can carry moisture from things like perspiration and spills, making it an ideal home for mold.

How to clean it – You can start by vacuuming both sides of the mattress, and then of course, cleaning out that vacuum to avoid the spread of mold spores. Then, mix together an equal ratio of rubbing alcohol and water, dip a cloth in the mixture, and scrub the mattress. After that, spray a disinfectant on the mattress, and sit it out to dry in the sunshine (a very important steps because, of course, getting rid of moisture is crucial). However, if you see the mold spread to the floors and walls of your bedroom as well, it’s best to call the experts!

On your dishes.

Your dishes, those things you serve the food you and your family eat on. While it may make you gag, it does make sense.

Why it grows there – When the dishes aren’t completely dry, but you start stacking them anyway, you set up a prime spot for mold to grow.

How to clean your dishes – To start, make sure your dishes are totally moisture-free before stacking and putting them away. If it’s too late for that step, simply run the dishes through a dishwasher (washing and sanitizing them), and wipe down your cupboards using a vinegar and water solution and a cloth. Again, if the mold has spread to your sink, counter or throughout your cabinet, it’s best to call the experts, SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont

On your toothbrush.

This could be the most important takeaway of them all mostly because you are potentially putting mold particles directly into your mouth.

Why it grows there – When toothbrushes don’t receive a proper chance to dry out between brushing, mold has the perfect opportunity to thrive.

How to clean it – Okay, forget cleaning mold off your toothbrush. Just go buy a new, definitely-mold-free one. And then use these tips to keep it that way.

  1. First, buy a new one frequently. Even if it doesn’t look frayed, you should be replacing it at least every three months.
  2. Second, use toothpaste with germ-fighting triclosan/copolymer.
  3. Third, don’t share toothbrushes.
  4. Fourth, close the lid to your toilet while flushing! You wouldn’t believe how far those germs can fly.
  5. Lastly, don’t store your toothbrush in an airtight container. To avoid mold growth, it needs to be exposed to the open air.

No matter where you find mold growing in your home, you’ll need to clean it up and fix the moisture problem immediately. Otherwise, the mold will continue to grow and potentially damage any surface it calls home. If you have a mold issue, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

Commercial Water events create unique challenges

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Water events create unique challenges Retail stores after hours

Flooding and water damage events at City of Cambridge commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a 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. If your business has sustained a fire or water damage, please contact SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you

Fire in the workplace

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire in the workplace Store in the midst of a fire

Most Common Causes of Fire in the Workplace

Electrical Fires

Over 25% of all fires are linked to a malfunction of either a piece of electrical equipment, wiring, or both. Electricity is a common source of ignition for major fires. One way to avoid problems with electrical fires is to establish an electrical safety program.

All employees should be thoroughly familiar with the safety procedures for their particular jobs. To maximize his or her own safety, an employee should always use tools and equipment properly. Extension cords must be inspected before use, and those found questionable, removed from service and properly tagged. Damage or inadequate maintenance can cause equipment to deteriorate, resulting in unsafe conditions.

Flammable and Combustible Materials

There are thousands of chemicals in use in the modern American workplace. One of the most prevalent dangers of these chemicals is their flammability or combustibility. Improper handling of flammable materials brings a great risk of fire. When a flammable liquid is spilled, vapors begin to form immediately. It is the vapors that will ignite, and which pose the greater danger.

Flammable liquid spill cleanup should begin immediately. Vapors will continue to build until the liquid is removed, and they can be ignited by a variety of sources in the average workplace. The best way to avoid fire caused by these materials is to follow all OSHA guidelines when dealing with flammables.

Human Error

The most common reason for a sprinkler system failure is human error. Often times the water supply was turned off at the time of the fire. The success of fire prevention strategies depends primarily on pre-planning, preparation, equipment quality, and the readiness of personnel. Employees and loss prevention practitioners must be knowledgeable about the proper use of extinguishers. If the wrong extinguisher is used, a fire may become more serious.

General Negligence

Negligence is another common cause of fire in the workplace. It’s slightly different from fires caused by human error. Negligence occurs when an employee does not follow established procedures and knowingly undertakes an activity that is a potential fire hazard.

Fire caused by negligence can be the result of:

  • Hot surfaces too close to heating equipment
  • Open flame that’s not properly located or protected
  • Not following smoking restrictions or careless disposal of butts, ashes, and matches

Good common sense, self awareness, and close adherence to policy are a great way to avoid fires caused by general negligence. Posting fire safety signs in common areas is another way to keep fire safety at top of mind.

 Arson

The premise behind arson prevention, like other prevention programs, is to address the opportunity to commit the crime. Arsonists, like other criminals, typically prefer to start fires in locations that are secluded or hidden. Prevention programs often suggest improving the surveillance in these areas by lighting the area, removing visual obstructions to natural observation, and moving the targets such as dumpsters.

If your company, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you with the cleanup.

Mold in the basement

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold in the basement Mold growing on sheetrock in the basement

The Millers were away for a week and when they came home they noticed a smell coming from the basement. A pipe had developed a leak and was dripping water onto the carpet in their finished basement. The Millers called SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to assist them with the water damage. The crew arrived and checked the basement walls and floor for excessive moisture content. The SERVPRO crew determined that the water wicked up the walls causing the positive readings. SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont’s technician recommended the removal of 2 feet of walls and removal of the insulation behind the walls so that the basement could be dried properly. The customer did not follow the technician’s advice and wanted only to have the pad removed and the carpet dried. A few weeks later, the Millers discovered black spots growing on the walls. They called SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont again to assess the situation. the crew chief determined that mold had started growing and recommended that the walls be cur 6”inches past the mold growth, remove the insulation, hepa-vacuum and spray an anti-microbial behind those walls. If you have water damage call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you and please follow the recommendations of the crew.

Flood Insurance, do you need it?

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flood Insurance, do you need it? Spring rain can cause a flood very quickly

The fact is – any property can flood. Your home doesn’t have to be under five feet of water from hurricane flood surges to suffer flood damage. Normal amounts of rainwater can drain under your home, and flood your basement or the lowest floor level, causing flood damage. This kind of flooding can cause mold, increase the risk of termites and cause electrical problems.

More than 75% of homeowners devastated by flooding unfortunately discover they should have had flood insurance. The sad thing, experts say, is that flood insurance is not that expensive – typically $450 to $600 a year for the average home. When you weigh the cost of flood insurance against replacing your entire home $100,000 to $500,000, it only makes sense to buy it, whether you believe you’ll need it or not.

“People may say things like, ‘I live on a hill, I don’t need flood insurance’,” Diana Herrera, a FEMA flood insurance specialist said. “If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that, and those homes were flooded…”

Other common reasons people give for not buying flood insurance include:

  • “I’m not in a flood zone.”
  • “I’m not anywhere near water.”
  • “I’ll never need it, it’s money wasted.”
  • “My homeowner’s insurance will cover it.”
  • “It’s not available.”
  • “My realtor told me the property would never flood.”

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

Electric Car Fire

4/2/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Electric Car Fire What the driveway looked like before it was cleaned and pressure washed.

The next door neighbor saw the smoke coming from the parked car in the driveway. He immediately called the fire department and then informed his neighbor of the situation. Paul, the car owner was charging his electric vehicle when it caught on fire. The fire department extinguished the flames but the fire caused a mess. The vehicle was charred and ruined, the driveway was filled with debris from the fire and a white powdery substance could be seen on the driveway. The owner’s second floor condo had a foul odor and there was light soot throughout the unit. The owner of the first floor complained of the odor and she had heavy soot in her unit.

The fire department suggested Paul call SERVPRO of to help him with the cleanup. Paul called SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864 -7378 to assist him with the cleanup. The SERVPRO crew went right to work. They cleaned and pressure washed the driveway, installed Air Scrubbers with charcoal filters to eliminate the odors and cleaned the entire structure and contents of the condominium.

If you have a fire or have soot damage, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to assist you.

How to Remove an Ice Dam

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 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

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO  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

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 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

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

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

Thorough Cleaning

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

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

Repair the Interior of the Shed

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

Give the Roof Special Treatment

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

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

Repair the Exterior

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

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



Lets Talk Turkey Safety

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Lets Talk Turkey Safety Turkey Safety

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

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

Winterize your home inside and out

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Winterize your home inside and out Winter Wonderland

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

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

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

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

Keep Outside of the House Clean

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

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

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



National Day of Service and Remembrance

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

The Importance of Clean Air to Prevent Mold

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

Ventilation

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

Extractor Fans

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

Clean

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

Dehumidifiers

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

Plants

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

A/C Unit Ruining Your Business?

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

Mouse Droppings?

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

First, spread disease!

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

Second, droppings.

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

Third, urine.  

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

Fourth, chew cables.

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

Fifth, start fires.

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

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



8 Places Most People Do not Know Mold Exists

8/3/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

Carpeting

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

Furniture

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

Closets

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

Clothes

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

HVAC Systems

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

Drywall

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

Ceiling

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

Flooring

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

Fire In Cambridge MA

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

Air Conditioning Check list

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Air Conditioning Check list Commercial AC Unit

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Different Sources of House Fires and How to Prevent A Fire in Your Home

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 5 Different Sources of House Fires and How to Prevent A Fire in Your Home Fire that started in a Wall

Wiring and Outlets

  • Make sure all electrical cords are checked throughout your home for signs of fraying and make sure all frayed wires are replaced.
  • Do not cover cords with item such as rugs or blankets.
  • Be aware of the capacity that your home can handle in its electrical system.
  • Make sure to understand the difference between surge protectors and power strips.  Surge protectors help protect electronic devices.

Kitchens

  • Make sure there is a fire extinguishers readily available and make sure one knows how to use it in case of emergencies.
  • Keeping your stove clean is another way to prevent a house fire. Grease on a stove or in an oven can lead to a fire the next time it is used, if not cleaned properly.  

Dryers

  • Installing a dryer not properly could lead to a house fire when it is used for the first time.  Make sure to read the instructions thoroughly to prevent a fire from happening though the vent.
  • Make sure your dryer is cleaned regularly
  • After each load of laundry is done make sure the lint is taken out from the previous load.

Other Sources of Heating

  • Space heaters are known for starting house fires when left on too long, or on when nobody is in your home.
  • Make sure your space heater is far enough away from all furniture or anything else that can get too warm and catch on fire.

Chimneys

  • If there in a chimney that is located in your house make sure it is inspected annually. Have a professional clean or repair your chimney as needed.  
  • Make sure to use wood only.

Pest Prevention Tips For Your Business

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Pest Prevention Tips For Your Business Pest that can Take Over a Business

In order to prevent one's businesses from becoming infested with pests there are a few tips that everyone who owns a business should read about.

  1. Make sure your business is constantly being cleaned and spills, or damages do not go unnoticed.
  2. Make sure that garbage is taken out regularly as well as are stored in containers that are not easy to access.  
  3. Make sure that all cracks throughout your business are sealed bottom to top seamlessly, especially doors.  
  4. Make sure there is proper drainage going out. Pests can find their way in through the smallest cracks and places.
  5. Make sure areas stay dry and if are wet are dried properly.  Certain pest thrive in cool and damp places.
  6. Make sure all food being stored in sealed properly and not left out.

These six simple tips can help lead to a pest free environment. If one does find themselves in a situation where pest have infested there business give SERVPRO on Cambridge/Belmont (617-864- 7378) a call.

What is lightning?

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What is lightning? Lightning contarsted with the night sky

Lightning is an electrical discharge caused by imbalances between storm clouds and the ground, or within the clouds themselves. Most lightning occurs within the clouds.

"Sheet lightning" describes a distant bolt that lights up an entire cloud base. Other visible bolts may appear as bead, ribbon, or rocket lightning. During a storm, colliding particles of rain, ice, or snow inside storm clouds increase the imbalance between storm clouds and the ground, and often negatively charge the lower reaches of storm clouds. Objects on the ground, like steeples, trees, and the Earth itself, become positively charged—creating an imbalance that nature seeks to remedy by passing current between the two charges.

Lightning is extremely hot—a flash can heat the air around it to temperatures five times hotter than the sun’s surface. This heat causes surrounding air to rapidly expand and vibrate, which creates the pealing thunder we hear a short time after seeing a lightning flash.

Types of Lightning

Cloud-to-ground lightning bolts are a common phenomenon—about 100 strike Earth’s surface every single second—yet their power is extraordinary. Each bolt can contain up to one billion volts of electricity.

A typical cloud-to-ground lightning bolt begins when a step-like series of negative charges, called a stepped leader, races downward from the bottom of a storm cloud toward the Earth along a channel at about 200,000 mph (300,000 kph). Each of these segments is about 150 feet (46 meters) long.

When the lowermost step comes within 150 feet (46 meters) of a positively charged object, it is met by a climbing surge of positive electricity, called a streamer, which can rise up through a building, a tree, or even a person.

When the two connect, electrical current flows as negative charges fly down the channel towards earth and a visible flash of lightning streaks upward at some 200,000,000 mph (300,000,000 kph), transferring electricity as lightning in the process.

Some types of lightning, including the most common types, never leave the clouds but travel between differently charged areas within or between clouds. Other rare forms can be sparked by extreme forest fires, volcanic eruptions, and snowstorms. Ball lightning, a small, charged sphere that floats, glows, and bounces along oblivious to the laws of gravity or physics, still puzzles scientists.

About one to 20 cloud-to-ground lightning bolts is "positive lightning," a type that originates in the positively charged tops of storm clouds. These strikes reverse the charge flow of typical lightning bolts and are far stronger and more destructive. Positive lightning can stretch across the sky and strike "out of the blue" more than 10 miles from the storm cloud where it was born.

 If you have had damage from a lightning strike, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Should I Waterproof My Basement?

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Should I Waterproof My Basement? Sealed basement wall

If your basement smells wet or musty, one might be curious about why this may be happening and what the root of it is. Many companies advertise about waterproofing basements walls. Is it really possible to dry out a basement simply by sealing the walls?

Yes, it is possible to make sure you basement stay dry and not musty. SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617-864-7378) can help.  We are here to make sure that your basement stays dry especially after a tragedy.  We are professionals that will get your space back to looking “like it never happened”. 

There are four types of Interior Waterproofing:

1.Concrete waterproofing coatings:

2.Silicate based concrete sealers,

3.Waterproof paint

4.Plastic sheets and panels

These are all solutions that can help prevent water from getting into your basement and have the ability to have a finished basement and add value to your house. If you have water damage let SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617-864-7378) help.

6 Signs You Might Have Carpet Mold

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is extremely invasive and can become deadly over time for people to be both living or working in an environment that contains mold.  Make sure when liquids are spilled, no matter how small, you clean up properly and check over time to see if mold has grown within the area.

  1. Do you have musty odors that are smelling throughout your home or business?

  2. Have higher Incidence of Allergies that have occurred over time?

  3. Does your space have a damp carpet?

  4. Have you looked under your carpet for mold?

  5. Do you see white, green, or black spots that have appeared that were not there before?

  6. Have you tested your carpet for mold with a mold test?

These are six MAIN signs that you have mold growing under your carpet. Call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont 617-864-7378 to keep your spaces safe and healthy.

The 4 Steps to Cleaning Your Home After a Fire

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

  • Step One: Emergency Contact
    • SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617-864- 7378) offers a 24/7 emergency service number that can be contacted when a fire occurs in your home. This is a very important feature when trying to find a company to clean after something tragic like a fire or flood happens.  Why do you need to start a fire damage restoration damage right away? You want to be able to prevent anymore damage from happening to your property.
  • Step Two: Assessment
    • The next step in the fire damage restoration is where the company will assess the extent of the damage that has happened to your property.  This is important because it gives the company a plan of action and the company will then be able to give you and accurate quote for the cost. Most importantly, to make sure your home looks “like it never happened”.
  • Step Three: Clean Up
    • The main step, is where a SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont 617-864-7378 fire damage restoration service will being the clean up process of the damage. They will clean away smoke, dust, and soot from your surfaces and any underlying issues that come about. After a fire often you will find that your property looks dark, stained and charred. The first job your fire damage restoration company will do is clean up all the damage and get your property looking “like it never happened”.  During this fire damage restoration process, SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont 617-864-7378 will also ensure to remove any odors that can linger after the smoke has been in the room. This might involve carpet cleaning and will often need to address adjacent rooms as well as those directly affected by fire damage.
  • Step Four: Restore and Renovation
    • After all is cleaned up next begins the next and final step, finally getting your property back to the way it was.

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

7/27/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges Cambridge business affected by a sewage damage

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events at City of Cambridge commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a 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. If your business has sustained a fire or water damage, please contact SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you

Important information to prevent water damage to your home

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Important information to prevent water damage to your home Old pipe caused water damage to the basement

Exterior Measures

Disconnect hoses - Standing water in a hose may freeze back into the pipe. This may create an ice block that stops your water flow. The block may burst your pipes and create damage to walls, floor and foundation.

Clean gutters and downspouts - Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid blockage and ice dams. Standing water can cause damage to your gutters and roof, and unmanaged overflow may create puddles that could damage your foundation. Don't forget to clean downspouts to ensure water can flow through, and secure downspouts so that they point away from the home.

Maintain trees and vegetation - Thriving shrubs can be a beautiful thing — except when their roots wrap around your pipes and break them. That's why it's important to minimize landscaping near utility pipes or, if necessary, remove trees and shrubs that have become too big.

Interior Measures

Know your water main - Know the location of your water main, and shut it off if you leave for an extended amount of time. If no water goes in to the house, chances are no faucet drips can wreak havoc on your home while you're away.

Check appliances regularly - Check and maintain your home appliances regularly for leaks, according to manufacturer's directions.

Investigate leaks right away and fix promptly - If you opt to ignore moisture damage or postpone making the necessary repairs, be prepared to experience mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage to your home. Keep in mind that homeowner's insurance provides coverage for damage that is sudden and accidental. Damage that results from lack of maintenance is not covered on a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. If it's too late and you're already dealing with a wet disaster, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to assist you (617) 864-7378

Upgrade washing machine hoses - Old, brittle or leaky washing machine hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss for homeowners. Replace yours regularly to avoid a mighty mess and expensive damage.

Install water detection devices - A water detector is a small electronic device that sounds an alarm when its sensor comes in contact with moisture. Its main benefit is that it detects low moisture levels or slow leaks that often go unnoticed. Install it near water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets to prevent extensive damage and mold growth.

Check your water pressure - If the water pressure to your home is set too high, pipes and hoses may fail under the pressure. Buy a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store, attach it to an outside faucet, and turn the faucet to full force. The gauge will give you a reading of the home’s water pressure. Typical residential water systems are designed for water pressure of 40 to 70 psi. If your home’s water pressure exceeds 100 psi, install a pressure regulator (which is available at hardware stores as well.)

Hidden leaks can lead to mold

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Hidden leaks can lead to mold If you see a leaky pipe, call a plumber before mold can develop

A homeowner in Belmont, MA moved a cabinet in their living room and saw black spots behind the cabinet and also growing on the cabinet. The homeowner called SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to assess the situation.  The SERVPRO technicians using a moisture meter discovered the wall and ceiling were both wet.  The technicians went upstairs to the room above the living room to determine the source of the water.  The room above was a bathroom, the technicians using the moisture meter, discovered the bathroom vanity was wet. SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont’s technicians removed the wall and found an old leaky pipe that had probably been dripping for a long period of time causing the mold growth in the living room.

 Mildew and molds are fungi - simple microscopic organisms that thrive anywhere there is a moist environment. Molds are a necessary part of the environment; without them, leaves would not decay and aspects of soil enrichment could not take place. It is their ability to destroy organic materials, however, that makes mold a problem for people - in our homes and in our bodies.

If you think you have a mold issue, call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-74378 to assist you

Hot Water Heaters, when they should be replaced

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hot Water Heaters, when they should be replaced Picture of an old water heater

Water heaters are essential elements of our home. We use them in daily activities such as taking a bath, using the dishwasher and using the washing machine. But because we use them frequently, it’s sometimes easy to take them for granted and forget that they need to be maintained. Failing to do so will result in malfunctions and problems and eventually, replacing your water heater. Taking notice of the first signs of a problem can help you repair your water heater before it becomes worse.

You don’t have to be an expert to spot the first signs of trouble. All you need to have is a keen sense of observation so that your water heater can be repaired. 

Here are three signs that indicate your water heater needs to be repaired.

Hot water has off smell or off color. The first instance that you notice your hot water has an off smell or has a rusty color, that’s something that you need to check out. The smell could be the result of a rusty anode rod in the water heater. There is no need to worry since the anode rod can be replaced that will then eliminate the bad odor. Bacteria growth also causes bad smells. This happens when the hot water has not been used or has been turned off for quite some time or when the thermostat is set at a very low level.

Corroded pipes can also cause an off color in your water. This can be solved by installing a water softener or by replacing the plumbing. If you also see a lot of sediments in the water, it’s time to have the water heater repaired.

Water is not hot enough, too hot, not strong enough or there is none at all. When there is no water, check first that your water heater has power and is working fine. If it is, have it inspected by a plumber. If water is not enough, this could be due to an undersized water heater and is a common situation when a lot more people are using the water heater. This could also be caused by the presence of mineral deposits inside the water heater tank. When water is too hot or not hot enough, you may have to adjust the temperature dial of the water heater. If there is no change in temperature, have the water heater checked and repaired.

Strange noises and leaks. Leaks coming from your water heater could lead to flooding. In the same way, strange noises like pops, bangs, gurgles, and the like are clear indicators that something is wrong with your water heater. This is usually caused by a buildup of sediments inside the tank. A boiling sound, however, could mean the water heater is overheating or that pressure is building up inside the tank. All these have to be addressed immediately to prevent further problems.

It’s important to have your water heater repaired as soon as you see these signs. This will help you save on costs, prevent further damage, and avoid an untimely replacement of your unit.

If your hot water heater malfunctions and creates a water damage, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you with the water damage.

Tuesday's storm caused widespread flooding

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tuesday's storm caused widespread flooding The storm flooded this Cambridge home

The heat and humidity Tuesday will give way to potentially severe thunderstorms in the afternoon in Massachusetts, forecasters say.

 “A line of strong thunderstorms is expected to develop in northwest Massachusetts around noon and then progress slowly southeastward across most of southern New England this afternoon and evening,” the National Weather Service wrote. “Any storms will be capable of producing 1 to 2 inches of rain in less than an hour.”

 The National Weather Service said localized flash flooding and damaging winds are concerns with the sweeping storms.

 The Flash Flood Watch has been expanded to include the Boston and Providence corridor. With widespread showers and thunderstorms today, 1"-2" of rain is expected in a short period of time. Some places could see 2"-4" with rainfall rates around 2"/hr. This could lead to localized flash flooding, especially in urban areas.

 The strongest storms are forecast in western and northern Massachusetts, and the storms are expected to weaken as they approach southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

 If your home or business was affected by yesterday’s storm, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

The dangers of a lightning strike

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage The dangers of a lightning strike Spectacular picture of lightning lighting up the sky

Lightning is not only spectacular, it’s dangerous. About 2,000 people are killed worldwide by lightning each year. Hundreds more survive strikes but suffer from a variety of lasting symptoms, including memory loss, dizziness, weakness, numbness, and other life-altering ailments. Strikes can cause cardiac arrest and severe burns, but 9 of every 10 people survive. The average American has about a 1 in 5,000 chance of being struck by lightning during a lifetime.

Lightning's extreme heat will vaporize the water inside a tree, creating steam that may blow the tree apart. Cars are havens from lightning—but not for the reason that most believe. Tires conduct current, as do metal frames that carry a charge harmlessly to the ground.

Many houses are grounded by rods and other protection that conduct a lightning bolts electricity harmlessly to the ground. Homes may also be inadvertently grounded by plumbing, gutters, or other materials. Grounded buildings offer protection, but occupants who touch running water or use a landline phone may be shocked by conducted electricity.

If your home or business is struck by lightning, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

The most common causes of fire in the workplace

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The most common causes of fire in the workplace Commercial Building on fire

Most Common Causes of Fire in the Workplace

 Electrical Fires

 Over 25% of all fires are linked to a malfunction of either a piece of electrical equipment, wiring, or both. Electricity is a common source of ignition for major fires. One way to avoid problems with electrical fires is to establish an electrical safety program.

 All employees should be thoroughly familiar with the safety procedures for their particular jobs. To maximize his or her own safety, an employee should always use tools and equipment properly. Extension cords must be inspected before use, and those found questionable, removed from service and properly tagged. Damage or inadequate maintenance can cause equipment to deteriorate, resulting in unsafe conditions.

Flammable and Combustible Materials

 There are thousands of chemicals in use in the modern American workplace. One of the most prevalent dangers of these chemicals is their flammability or combustibility. Improper handling of flammable materials brings a great risk of fire. When a flammable liquid is spilled, vapors begin to form immediately. It is the vapors that will ignite, and which pose the greater danger.

 Flammable liquid spill cleanup should begin immediately. Vapors will continue to build until the liquid is removed, and they can be ignited by a variety of sources in the average workplace. The best way to avoid fire caused by these materials is to follow all OSHA guidelines when dealing with flammables.

Human Error

 The most common reason for a sprinkler system failure is human error. Often times the water supply was turned off at the time of the fire. The success of fire prevention strategies depends primarily on pre-planning, preparation, equipment quality, and the readiness of personnel. Employees and loss prevention practitioners must be knowledgeable about the proper use of extinguishers. If the wrong extinguisher is used, a fire may become more serious.

General Negligence

 Negligence is another common cause of fire in the workplace. It’s slightly different from fires caused by human error. Negligence occurs when an employee does not follow established procedures and knowingly undertakes an activity that is a potential fire hazard.

Fire caused by negligence can be the result of:

  • Hot surfaces too close to heating equipment
  • Open flame that’s not properly located or protected
  •  Not following smoking restrictions or careless disposal of butts, ashes, and matches

Good common sense, self awareness, and close adherence to policy are a great way to avoid fires caused by general negligence. Posting fire safety signs in common areas is another way to keep fire safety at top of mind.

 Arson

The premise behind arson prevention, like other prevention programs, is to address the opportunity to commit the crime. Arsonists, like other criminals, typically prefer to start fires in locations that are secluded or hidden. Prevention programs often suggest improving the surveillance in these areas by lighting the area, removing visual obstructions to natural observation, and moving the targets such as dumpsters.

 Prevent the Common Causes of Fire in the Workplace

 Fire prevention should be considered part of everyone’s job. Employees must help to keep the work area clutter-free and safe from fire hazards. Also, make sure extreme care is taken when working with chemicals such as flammable solvents, gasoline, gases, and fuels. Of course, the best prevention for fire is education and proper training.

If your company, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you with the cleanup.

It's Hurricane Season

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage It's Hurricane Season Satellite photo of a hurricane

As the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season begins, scientists are worried that U.S. coastal communities could face more super storms with winds, storm surges and rainfall so intense that current warning categories don't fully capture the threat.

This year's forecast is about average and much more subdued than last summer's hyperactive season turned out to be, partly due to cooler ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, as well as a nascent El Niño pattern. But that doesn't mean an individual storm won't blow up to exceptional strength, as Andrew did before striking Florida in 1992, an otherwise relatively quiet year.

 Heat trapped by the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is raising the chances of that happening, said Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann. 

A new review of global data on hurricanes shows that since 1980, the number of storms with winds stronger than 200 kilometers per hour (124 mph, or a strong Category 3) have doubled, and those with winds stronger than 250 kilometers per hour (155 mph) have tripled.

If a storm hits your area, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you with the cleanup.

Causes of Sewage backups in basements

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Causes of Sewage backups in basements Diagram of a sewage system

Heavy rains that occurred in the Cambridge/Belmont area caused not only flooding but also many sewage backups. The town & cities sewage system gets overwhelmed causing the sewage to flow into basements through toilets and sinks. When a storm drain suffers a partial or complete blockage, rain water gets trapped in the pipes and must go somewhere. Unfortunately, the only exit point is the pipe servicing your home that connects to the sewer line. With nowhere left to go it goes up through your pipe, pushing whatever refuse and filth it’s carrying into your basement and other areas of your home. Contact your local plumber to install a backwater valve to prevent this from happening to you! If your basement gets flooded or has sewage issues, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you. Did you know that SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont also helps Commercial and Industrial customers?

PPE should be worn during cleanup of animal droppings

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Biohazard PPE should be worn during cleanup of animal droppings Tech with full PPE

Histoplasmosis is an infection caused by breathing in spores of a fungus often found in bird and bat droppings. Histoplasmosis is most commonly transmitted when these spores become airborne, often during cleanup or demolition projects.

Soil contaminated by bird or bat droppings also can transmit histoplasmosis, so farmers and landscapers are at a higher risk of contracting the disease. In the United States, histoplasmosis commonly occurs in the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys, though it can occur in other areas, too.

 

Most people with histoplasmosis never develop symptoms and aren't aware they're infected. But for some people — primarily infants and those with compromised immune systems — histoplasmosis can be serious. Effective treatments are available for even the most severe forms of histoplasmosis.

 

Symptoms

Several types of histoplasmosis exist. The mildest form produces no signs or symptoms, but severe infections can be life-threatening. When signs and symptoms do occur, they usually appear three to 17 days after exposure and may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Dry cough
  • Chest discomfort

In some people, histoplasmosis can also produce joint pain and a rash. People who have an underlying lung disease, such as emphysema, may develop a chronic form of histoplasmosis.

Signs of chronic histoplasmosis may include weight loss and a cough that brings up blood. The symptoms of chronic histoplasmosis sometimes can mimic those of tuberculosis.

Severe histoplasmosis

The most severe variety of histoplasmosis occurs primarily in infants and in people with compromised immune systems. Called disseminated histoplasmosis, this variety can affect nearly any part of your body, including your mouth, liver, central nervous system, skin and adrenal glands. If untreated, disseminated histoplasmosis is usually fatal.

When to see a doctor

Contact your doctor if you develop flu-like symptoms after being exposed to bird or bat droppings — especially if you have a weakened immune system.

Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic

Causes

Histoplasmosis is caused by the reproductive cells (spores) of the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. The spores are extremely light and float into the air when dirt or other contaminated material is disturbed.

Even if you've had histoplasmosis in the past, you can still get the infection again. However, if you contract histoplasmosis again, the illness will likely be milder than the initial infection.

The histoplasmosis fungus thrives in damp soil that's rich in organic material, especially the droppings from birds and bats. For that reason, it's particularly common in chicken and pigeon coops, old barns, caves and parks. Histoplasmosis isn't contagious, so it can't be spread from person to person.

Risk factors

The chances of developing histoplasmosis symptoms increase with the number of spores you inhale. Professions with a higher likelihood of spore exposure include:

  • Farmers
  • Pest control workers
  • Poultry keepers
  • Construction workers
  • Roofers
  • Landscapers and gardeners
  • Cave explorers

Most at risk of severe infection

Children younger than age 2 and adults age 55 and older have weaker immune systems, so they're more likely to develop disseminated histoplasmosis — the most serious form of the disease. Other factors that can weaken your immune system include:

  • HIV or AIDS
  • Intensive cancer chemotherapy
  • Corticosteroid drugs, such as prednisone
  • Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, often used to control rheumatoid arthritis
  • Medications that prevent rejection of organ transplants

Complications

Histoplasmosis can cause a number of serious complications, even in otherwise healthy people. For infants, older adults and people with compromised immune systems, the potential problems are often life-threatening. Complications can include:

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Histoplasmosis can damage lungs to the point that the air sacs begin filling with fluid. This prevents efficient air exchange and can deplete oxygen levels in the blood.
  • Heart problems. Inflammation of the pericardium, the sac that surrounds your heart, is called pericarditis. When the fluid in this sac increases, it can interfere with the heart's ability to pump blood efficiently.
  • Adrenal insufficiency. Histoplasmosis can harm your adrenal glands, which produce hormones that give instructions to virtually every organ and tissue in your body.
  • Meningitis. In some cases, histoplasmosis can cause meningitis, an infection and inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord.

Prevention

It's difficult to prevent exposure to the fungus that causes histoplasmosis, especially in areas where the disease is widespread. Even so, these steps may help reduce the risk of infection:

  • Avoid exposure. Avoid projects and activities that might expose you to the fungus, such as cave exploring and raising birds, such as pigeons or chickens.
  • Spray contaminated surfaces. Before you dig soil or work in an area that could harbor the fungus that causes histoplasmosis, spray it thoroughly with water. This can help prevent spores from being released into the air. Spraying chicken coops and barns before cleaning them also can reduce your risk.
  • Use an effective face mask. Wear a respirator mask. Consult the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to determine which type of mask will provide adequate protection for your level of exposure.

Basement Cleanup Time

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

General Basement Cleanup Time Basement before SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont's Cleanup services

We know that cleaning out the junk in your basement can feel overwhelming. It is tough to know where to start. We can help you make the process easy and stress free. Call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to help organize, sort and remove unwanted items in your basement.

SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont can handle all of your basement cleaning services. Whether your basement looks and feels like  storage unit for all your junk from over the years, or you are doing some cleaning and clearing out to make room to finish your basement.

SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont will

  • Remove all the junk from your basement
  • Clean everything, and leave no junk behind
  • Rearrange items in your garage (at your request)
  • Create as much possible space for your basement
  • Dispose of all your basement junk responsibly
  • Recycle and donate whatever we can

Air Conditioning system maintenance

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

General Air Conditioning system maintenance AC Unit

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mold Facts

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Facts Mold on backside of shhetrock

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to completely eradicate mold forever, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

 If you think you have mold, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assess your situation.

Common causes of mold

7/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Common causes of mold Active mold growth in the basement

One of the rooms in the house where you'll most often see mold is the basement.

 This Blog informs you about the most common causes and the signs of mold in the basement. It also lets you know how to find mold growth in the basement and to prevent mold from growing in the basement.

Causes of Mold in Basement

There are many sources of moisture found in the basement. And any water problem in the basement usually takes a long time to dry out. This is because the basement gets no sunlight, very little ventilation and is often humid.

 To make matters worse, once mold has begun to grow in the basement it will probably go unnoticed for a long time since people don't spend much time in their basements. People rarely clean their basements too and the dust and dirt helps mold to grow.

Mold loves to grow on some of the building materials in the basement. Some favorites are drywall, wood and insulation.

Mold and Flooding

Mold from Basement Leaks

Leaking pipes in the basement or in nearby rooms lead to basement mold growth. Water in the ground can also find its way into the basement through cracks in the walls.

Basement Humidity and Mold

Once water in the basement evaporates it raises the humidity level in the basement. The humidity then usually stays high thanks to poor ventilation and no sunlight. Some molds can begin to grow in the basement just from this high level of humidity.

Signs of Mold in Basement

One of the clearest signs that you have mold in your basement is the smell. Because of the stagnant air in the basement, odors build up and become very noticeable. Don't ignore a musty or moldy smell in the basement as it probably means you have a basement mold problem.

If you need help with mold, please contact SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Recent Storm in Cambridge, MA

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Recent Storm in Cambridge, MA Downed tree as a result of the recent storm

Yesterday’s microburst that occurred in the city of Cambridge resulted in about 50 limbs or branches down. Forestry crews are responding. There are also several wires down and loss of power in certain locations. The City Electrician, Eversource and SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont are responding. The above picture shows the damage that one of the downed trees caused. SERVPRO Of Cambridge/Belmont responded to a frantic call from the homeowner informing us that a tree came right through the kitchen ceiling. The SERVPRO technicians were at the Cambridge home in less than an hour. They cleaned up the debris and installed drying equipment.

To report a fallen tree or limb, call 617-349-3300.

To report a down wired, call 911 or 617-349-3300

To report loss of power, please call Eversourse at 1-800-592-2000

If you have had roof or water damage due to the Microburst please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

A microburst is a small downdraft that moves in a way opposite to a tornado. Microbursts are found in strong thunderstorms. There are two types of microbursts within a thunderstorm: wet microbursts and dry microbursts. They go through three stages in their cycle, the downburst, outburst, and cushion stages. A microburst often has high winds that can knock over fully grown trees. They usually last from a couple of seconds to several minutes.

Mold in the Basement

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold in the Basement Mold growing on the walls

The Millers were away for a week and when they came home they noticed a smell coming from the basement. A pipe had developed a leak and was dripping water onto the carpet in their finished basement. The Millers called SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to assist them with the water damage. The crew arrived and checked the basement walls and floor for excessive moisture content. The SERVPRO crew determined that the water wicked up the walls causing the positive readings. SERVPRO of Cambridge’s technician recommended the removal of 2 feet of walls and removal of the insulation behind the walls so that the basement could be dried properly. The customer did not follow the technician’s advice and wanted only to have the pad removed and the carpet dried. A few weeks later, the Millers discovered black spots growing on the walls. They called SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont again to assess the situation. SERVPRO determined that mold had started growing and recommended that the walls be cur 6”inches past the mold growth, remove the insulation, heap-vacuum and spray an anti-microbial behind those walls. If you have water damage call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you and please follow the recommendations of the crew

Hidden water, is it covered by insurance?

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hidden water, is it covered by insurance? Slow leak under the kitchen sink

Whether it's behind the washer, above the ceiling or under the sink, a little drip can lead to big trouble. Water damage happens quickly and can be expensive to fix. Ignore a leak, and you not only could you have a mighty mess on your hands, but your home insurance probably won't bail you out. "What's really important to know for leaks is when did the insured notice it and take action," Says Michael Pridham from SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont

"People now build houses to be airtight," says Michael Pridham, owner of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont, a property-damage restoration service. "Houses are wrapped in plastic like Saran Wrap. That's good for energy conservation, but if water gets on the wrong side of that plastic, then mold will follow, as certainly as night follows day." Pridham observes that damage often occurs after people get security systems installed. Holes are drilled into airtight window frames for wires to run through them, but they aren't properly caulked and sealed, allowing water to slowly seep in over time. "You notice that maybe the wall below the window is looking funny, and by that time the framing behind it is rotted out," he says. If the homeowner reports the problem right away, it would likely be covered by home insurance.

But what about a slow leak you can't see? Say, for instance, a pipe behind a wall leaks, and you don't notice it until water starts seeping through the wall. Are you covered? Most likely the answer is yes, as long as you take action as soon as there is evidence of the leak, Pridham says. "Nobody expects you to tear out your drywall now and again to check the pipes. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378. They will send out a crew to test the walls using moisture detectors and an infrared camera.

Insurance companies understand it's impossible to know you have a hidden leak until the damage becomes apparent. The same goes for leaks behind and under appliances, or above a ceiling. If you can't see the leak, you can still make an insurance claim as long as you report it when it becomes apparent. Don't expect much sympathy if you ignore the wet spot in your ceiling, only to report it when the problem gets worse. The insurance adjuster probably will be able to tell if the damage is fresh.

"If the insured had a leak in the roof and had a pot under it for six months, then that damage is not covered," Pridham of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont says. "Insurance Professionals are pretty good at seeing whether a wet spot has been there for a while. Sometimes they have engineers go out to look." When it comes to insurance coverage, everything depends on the language in your policy. Although most policies cover damage from leaks as long as you responded quickly, language among policies differs. Keep in mind, though, that while home insurance may cover the water damage to the ceiling, floor, walls or furniture, it won't pay for replacing the worn-out pipe or the leaky roof (unless the roof was damaged by a covered peril, such as hail or a fallen tree).

Sergio Rodriguez, Production Manager for SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont suggests making sure all holes are properly caulked and sealed and keeping eaves and downspouts clean. He recommends periodically checking behind appliances and under sinks to make sure everything is dry. That means actually moving out the stuff that's been sitting under the kitchen sink for the last several years. Be careful when pulling out the refrigerator to check for a leak in the ice maker water line. Avoid running over the water line or crimping a copper line. Rodriguez also suggests replacing rubber supply hoses to appliances with braided hoses, which are made of rubber surrounded by wire mesh. Braided hoses can still spring a leak, but they won't burst.

If you think you have a leak, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Drying with no demolition

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Drying with no demolition Inject-I-Dry System drying hardwood fllor

Peter & Sue Miller’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 Millers 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 Miller’s were ecstatic!

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

Water damage over the weekend

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Water damage over the weekend This is what the office looked like when SERVPRO arrived

On Monday morning, Shannon arrived in the office early as usual. She was always the first one in the office. As she went to her cubicle her feet squished. She looked around & she saw that the carpet and surrounding area was completely wet. She called the office manager, Johnny. Johnny knew what to do, call SERVPRO of Cambridge Belmont. The SERVPRO crew arrived quickly and they immediately went to work. They extracted the water and set up drying equipment. The production manager monitored the loss and when he determined the area was dry, he arranged to have the carpet cleaned. Shannon requested that the carpet cleaning be done after hours so the business would not be interrupted.  Everyone at the Cambridge business was very happy when things were back to normal. If your business has water damage, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

Water damage over the weekend

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Water damage over the weekend This is what the office looked like when SERVPRO arrived

On Monday morning, Shannon arrived in the office early as usual. She was always the first one in the office. As she went to her cubicle her feet squished. She looked around & she saw that the carpet and surrounding area was completely wet. She called the office manager, Johnny. Johnny knew what to do, call SERVPRO of Cambridge Belmont. The SERVPRO crew arrived quickly and they immediately went to work. They extracted the water and set up drying equipment. The production manager monitored the loss and when he determined the area was dry, he arranged to have the carpet cleaned. Shannon requested that the carpet cleaning be done after hours so the business would not be interrupted.  Everyone at the Cambridge business was very happy when things were back to normal. If your business has water damage, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

Hidden water leaks

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hidden water leaks Hidden water leak

Whether it's behind the washer, above the ceiling or under the sink, a little drip can lead to big trouble. Water damage happens quickly and can be expensive to fix. Ignore a leak, and you not only could you have a mighty mess on your hands, but your home insurance probably won't bail you out. "What's really important to know for leaks is when did the insured notice it and take action," Says Michael Pridham from SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont

"People now build houses to be airtight," says Michael Pridham, owner of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont, a property-damage restoration service. "Houses are wrapped in plastic like Saran Wrap. That's good for energy conservation, but if water gets on the wrong side of that plastic, then mold will follow, as certainly as night follows day." Pridham observes that damage often occurs after people get security systems installed. Holes are drilled into airtight window frames for wires to run through them, but they aren't properly caulked and sealed, allowing water to slowly seep in over time. "You notice that maybe the wall below the window is looking funny, and by that time the framing behind it is rotted out," he says. If the homeowner reports the problem right away, it would likely be covered by home insurance.

Today's houses also have more bathrooms, and the washing machine is often located next to the master bedroom on an upper floor for convenience, Pridham notes. "That means you've got more pipes, and if the washing machine leaks, it can affect the third floor, the second floor, the first floor and even down to the basement," he says. For water damage from leaky appliances or pipes, the damage must be "sudden and accidental" in order to be covered by insurance - such as a pipe that bursts while you're washing clothes.

But what about a slow leak you can't see? Say, for instance, a pipe behind a wall leaks, and you don't notice it until water starts seeping through the wall. Are you covered? Most likely the answer is yes, as long as you take action as soon as there is evidence of the leak, Pridham says. "Nobody expects you to tear out your drywall now and again to check the pipes. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378. They will send out a crew to test the walls using moisture detectors and an infrared camera.

Insurance companies understand it's impossible to know you have a hidden leak until the damage becomes apparent. The same goes for leaks behind and under appliances, or above a ceiling. If you can't see the leak, you can still make an insurance claim as long as you report it when it becomes apparent. Don't expect much sympathy if you ignore the wet spot in your ceiling, only to report it when the problem gets worse. The insurance adjuster probably will be able to tell if the damage is fresh.

"If the insured had a leak in the roof and had a pot under it for six months, then that damage is not covered," Pridham of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont says. "Insurance Professionals are pretty good at seeing whether a wet spot has been there for a while. Sometimes they have engineers go out to look." When it comes to insurance coverage, everything depends on the language in your policy. Although most policies cover damage from leaks as long as you responded quickly, language among policies differs. Keep in mind, though, that while home insurance may cover the water damage to the ceiling, floor, walls or furniture, it won't pay for replacing the worn-out pipe or the leaky roof (unless the roof was damaged by a covered peril, such as hail or a fallen tree).

Sergio Rodriguez, Production Manager for SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont suggests making sure all holes are properly caulked and sealed and keeping eaves and downspouts clean. He recommends periodically checking behind appliances and under sinks to make sure everything is dry. That means actually moving out the stuff that's been sitting under the kitchen sink for the last several years. Be careful when pulling out the refrigerator to check for a leak in the ice maker water line. Avoid running over the water line or crimping a copper line. Rodriguez also suggests replacing rubber supply hoses to appliances with braided hoses, which are made of rubber surrounded by wire mesh. Braided hoses can still spring a leak, but they won't burst.

If you think you have a leak, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

The most common plumbing issues

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The most common plumbing issues Water damage to ceiling

You depend on your plumbing each and every day, from the hot water in your shower to the water boiling on your stove. As such, it’s important to maintain your plumbing regularly to make sure there aren’t any major issues such as leaks or sewage backups. But plumbing problems can still occur with regular maintenance, so it’s good to be aware of common plumbing issues and what you can do to solve them or minimize damage to your home.

Low Water Pressure

Proper water pressure is necessary for washing your hands, cleaning dishes, and taking a shower. If you’ve noticed a significant drop in your home’s water pressure, you probably have a clogged pipe. It’s also possible that you need to fully open your shutoff valve. If you’re only having water pressure issues with one faucet, the solution may be as simple as cleaning the aerator or removing a nearby clog.

Dripping Faucet

Depending on the severity of the drip, a dripping faucet can raise your water bill and waste a significant amount of water—not to mention how annoying it can be. Luckily, fixing a dripping faucet is usually as simple as replacing seats and springs or a washer in the faucet.

Running Toilet

It happens so frequently: minutes after flushing your toilet, you can still hear the toilet running as if the bowl is filling with water. This is an incredibly annoying problem to have, but usually, an easy one to fix. Remove the lid from your toilet tank and make sure that your tank ball, flapper valve, and flush valve are working properly—if any of them are sticking or not functioning right, they’re easy to replace.

Clogged Drain

Clogged or slow drains are probably the most common plumbing problem. Plumbing pipes are designed to allow water and waste to flow through freely, but over time, built up hair, soap scum and other debris can form a clog in your drain that prevents water from passing. This is almost sure to happen in any home given enough time. You can use vinegar and baking soda to break up clogs in your sink, or you can buy a drain auger and remove the clog manually.

Sometimes the clog may be deeper in your pipes or too severe to easily remove, look into professional plumbing services; they have the equipment and expertise to clear clogged drains without causing damage to your plumbing. If you have sewage damage as a result of a clogged drain or other plumbing issues, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Leaking Pipes

Leaks aren’t just an annoyance; they can significantly increase your water bill and quickly cause damage to your home. If you have a leaking pipe that’s beyond a slow drip, shut your water off as soon as possible. If there is any chance of mold or structural damage to your home, call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to avoid spending a fortune on repairs. Leaking pipes generally need to be replaced, but you can use marine tape or epoxy to cover small leaks temporarily—just remember to shut the water off first.

No Hot Water

Have you ever rolled out of bed and into the shower only to find there’s no hot water? It’s not a good experience. Chances are you’ve got something wrong with your water heater, most probably an electrical problem such as a thermostat or element. If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting your water heater, it’s a good idea to get help from a trained, knowledgeable professional.

Plumbing truly is an essential part of our everyday lives. We can’t all be professional plumbers, but with a little bit of research and hard work, you can stay cool, calm and collected in the face of a plumbing emergency

 If you have water damage as a result of any of these or other plumbing issues, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Problems over the weekend

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Problems over the weekend If you see this, call us!

On Monday morning, Marcy came to work early as usual. As she went to her cubicle her feet squished. She looked around & she saw that the carpet and surrounding area was completely wet. She called the office manager, Johnny. Johnny knew what to do, call SERVPRO of Cambridge Belmont. The SERVPRO crew arrived quickly and they immediately went to work. They extracted the water and set up drying equipment. The production manager monitored the loss and when he determined the area was dry, he arranged to have the carpet cleaned. Johnny requested that the carpet cleaning be done after hours so the business would not be interrupted.  Everyone at the Cambridge business was very happy when things were back to normal. If your business has water damage, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

Preventing water damage

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Preventing water damage This flooded basement could have been prevented

Preventing a water disaster in the basement

Sergio Rodriguez, Production Manager for SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont suggests making sure all holes are properly caulked and sealed and keeping eaves and downspouts clean. He recommends periodically checking behind appliances and under sinks to make sure everything is dry. That means actually moving out the stuff that's been sitting under the kitchen sink for the last several years. Be careful when pulling out the refrigerator to check for a leak in the ice maker water line. Avoid running over the water line or crimping a copper line. Rodriguez also suggests replacing rubber supply hoses to appliances with braided hoses, which are made of rubber surrounded by wire mesh. Braided hoses can still spring a leak, but they won't burst.

If you think you have a leak, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Mold in the House

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold in the House Mold in home left untreated

Mold issues in the home

Black mold belongs to the fungal family. Fungi make up 25% of our planet’s biomass, and they are very diverse, including mushrooms, toadstools, molds and mildews. What unites them all is a lack of chlorophyll.

Although many fungi are harmless, there are also some mold such as aspergillus may not be as harmless.

Black mold loves to grow on cellulose, which includes substances such as straw, grains, paper (including wallpaper) and wood. It thrives when that substrate has a relative humidity of 15% and the ambient environment is around 90% (hello, bathrooms). But basically it will take advantage of anywhere that water has got in, so a leaky roof, faulty damp-proof course or a cracked drain are all open invitations to black mold.

Black mold facts:

  • It is a fungus called Stachybotrys chartarum.
  • Black mold poisoning is called stachybotryotoxicosis (literally “poisoned by stachybotrys”).
  • Black mold is in part responsible for “sick building syndrome,” where people develop respiratory difficulties, chest tightness and headaches.

If you think you have mold please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you with the mold remediation.

Causes & prevention of Commercial Fires

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Causes & prevention of Commercial Fires Commercial Building after the fire

Most Common Causes of Commercial Building Fires

  1. Cooking Fires

29.3% of nonresidential fires from 2013 were cooking related. In fact, 1 in 4 office building fires were related to cooking equipment. These fires tend to account for less damage, but are easily preventable with fire protection systems such as alarms and fire extinguishers.

  1. Intentional

The second most common cause of nonresidential fires was intentionally started. This accounts for almost 10% of fires, and tends to cause the most damage. Intentional fires also result in more civilian injuries and deaths. Unlike cooking and heating fires, it's most common for intentional fires to be started between 3pm and midnight.

A few common locations in your building to be aware of include:

  • Bathrooms
  • Trash bins
  • Garages
  • Open areas like a lawn or field
  1. Careless Acts and Human Error

9.2% of commercial fires were unintentional results of careless acts. This is somewhat of an 'other' category. A few examples of careless acts that result in fires:

  • Accidentally leaving space heaters or other heat producing equipment on
  • Carelessly discarded cigarette butts igniting fires
  • Plugging too many things into the same extension cord
  1. Heating Fires

Heating fires account for 9% of all nonresidential building fires. Central heating units, fireplaces, water heaters, and other heating appliances and systems should be regularly inspected to prevent fires. It's important to move any flammable materials and furniture away from heat sources, especially in the winter months when the heat is turned on.

How to Prevent a Nonresidential Fire

Run through the items below to see how protected your business is from a fire emergency. There might be something you're missing that could save you thousands of dollars in fire damage and loss.

Fire Suppression and Protection System in Place

  • Fire extinguishers - The top cause of commercial building fires is cooking fires, and thankfully, most of these fires are small and contained. A fire extinguisher placed near the kitchen area can give employees the power to stop a small cooking fire from spreading. Make sure your employees are trained in using a few extinguishers. Read this if you're unsure whether or not your fire extinguishers are still in working condition.
  • Fire alarms - This may sound obvious, but fire alarms are easily overlooked or left with dead batteries because they're not properly maintained. Not only is a fire alarm system required, but it can save lives and property from damage.
  • Commercial fire sprinkler system - A sprinkler system can squelch a potentially deadly fire. The NFPA has no record of a fire killing more than 2 people in a building that was completely sprinkled. Having only 1 or 2 fire sprinkler heads can contain the majority of fires.

Testing and Maintenance

So you have all of the necessary fire protection systems in place. But how well maintained and up-to-date are they? Do you have expired fire extinguishers? Are you following the legal state requirements for getting these systems tested regularly? Make sure you check the local fire code to see what is required of businesses, and set up regular inspections and maintenance.

Install a Commercial Alarm System

No one likes to think that there are people who would intentionally start a fire on their property. Unfortunately, this is a scenario that you need to be prepared for. Invest in a security alarm system that will detect any suspicious activity in the evening hours when the building is most at risk. Keeping the area well-lit at night, or installing motion sensor lights outside, can deter criminal activity.

If you do have a fire please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Mold in the workplace

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold in the workplace Mold Remediation at a local school

Toxic Mold: What Every Employer Should Know

Mold is a favored word among lawyers and a feared word among building owners, employers and landlords.

Lawsuits arising out of mold and claiming "sick building syndrome" are common. Multi-million dollar verdicts are not unheard of. Mold, in the words of some, is becoming "the next asbestos."

An $8 billion class-action lawsuit was brought by 300 tenants in a large apartment building in New York. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was sued by employees claiming they became ill because of mold exposure while working at EPA headquarters. Even Hollywood is involved: Ed McMahon sued his insurer for $20 million, claiming that toxic mold in his Beverly Hills home killed his dog.

Mold has even reached the attention of the U.S. Congress. Last year, Representative John Conyers of Detroit introduced a proposed bill, the "United States Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act of 2002," intended to set standards for indoor mold levels and to provide for related research.

Due to increased public awareness,

 Almost mounting to hysteria, the number of legal claims is sure to mount. Workers who believe they are being exposed to mold may not want to work, their productivity may decline and they may file worker's compensation and disability claims. As an employer and/or a building owner, what can you do to try to limit your legal liability?

Look for Signs of Mold

With all of this attention, you may think that mold infestation is something new or uncommon. It is not. Mold is present in all buildings in some form and quantity. However, certain species of mold spores, in large enough concentrations, can be toxic. Although the health problems of mold exposure are in debate, there is literature tying some health effects to mold exposure. People with immune-compromised systems may experience permanent health effects.

Physical symptoms related to exposure to mold or sick building syndrome include eye, nose and throat irritation; respiratory complaints; skin irritation; nausea; dizziness and fatigue. Alert your human resources department and/or office manager to be aware of any such symptoms. If numerous employees complain, or if employees complain of moldy smells, put the building owner on notice and request an investigation. If you own the building, consider hiring an air quality investigator. Although these symptoms could result from other factors, it is important to address them.

Look For the Cause

Mold needs water or moisture and oxygen to grow. Water does not have to flow into the building for there to be enough moisture to promote the growth of mold. Although one-time leaks or burst water pipes may not be a problem if repaired, even a one-time leak, if not properly addressed, can cause unacceptable mold growth. There are a number of potential causes of moisture or water entry:

  • Lack of building maintenance
  • Poor building design or construction
  • Using wet building materials
  • Leaky pipes, windows, or doors
  • Regular, or even one-time flooding
  • Simple plumbing mistakes
  • Excessive humidity and condensation
  • Improper landscaping design or maintenance outside the building, causing water to flow toward the building
  • Any other serious water related problem
  • Address Moisture or Water Issues Promptly

If your building is experiencing water penetration, consistent moisture or leaks, demand that the landlord investigate the cause and promptly provide you with an action plan. If the landlord does not act, put it on notice that you intend to act and that you will hold it responsible for the costs.

Call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to make an assessment and to remediate the mold.

Smoke Alarms, when to replace

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Alarms, when to replace Hard wired smoke detector

Your detectors are overdue for replacement, according to the National Fire Protection Association, which recommends that you replace detectors when they’re 10 years old. Top-rated security system experts we interviewed say that, over time, dust gathers inside smoke detectors, desensitizing the sensors. And even if a detector hasn’t reached the 10-year mark, replace it if it chirps after you’ve replaced the battery or if the alarm doesn’t sound when you perform the recommended monthly testing. Experts recommend replacing all connected detectors at the same time, even if some are working. Smoke detectors are an essential part of a fire-prevention strategy, so you should replace yours as soon as possible. In a 2014 report, the NFPA said three of every five home-fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or with none that worked.

You can replace hard-wired detectors yourself, if you can reach them and if you have sufficient skill to replace a light fixture. (Be sure to first turn off electricity at the breaker box.) Otherwise, you can hire an electrician or an alarm service company to do the job. The cost can vary widely, depending on where you live and on the type and number of units to be replaced, where they’re placed and the condition of the wires. Service providers we contacted charge a wide range of prices, from $35 to $40 per detector, plus a $50 for service charge, to $135 to $155 per detector.

Meanwhile, here are some NFPA safety tips:

  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home, including the basement. (Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.)
  • Interconnected smoke alarms – whether hardwired or wireless – are best because when one is activated, they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Simply press the test button to be sure the alarm works.
  • Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn of flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn of smoldering fires. It’s best to use some of both types.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Install wall-mounted alarms should no more than 12 inches from the ceiling to the top of the alarm.
  • Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation. To reduce false alarms, keep alarms at least 10 feet from a stove.
  • Make sure everyone in your home knows how to respond if they hear a smoke alarm.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.

If your smoke alarm goes off, immediately leave your home, follow your emergency plan & call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you assist you with the smoke cleanup.

Advertising with Drones!

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

General Advertising with Drones! Drone with camera attached

Drones offer a new perspective on real estate marketing, literally.When we think of drones many things come to mind. Whether it’s the military’s use of these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) or the image of Amazon dropping packages at your door, drone technology is here to stay. And in a technology friendly business like real estate it only makes sense that UAV’s should play a pivotal role. If you’re already imagining the views of those luxury properties from on high, here are some of the possibilities and some of obstacles to incorporating drones into your marketing.

Cost: Radio controlled drones weighing 4.4-pound with four spinning propeller blades capable of carrying a video camera can run anywhere from $2,000 – $5,000.

Control: Navigating a drone takes considerable skill, so you’ll want to hire a pro to navigate it. You can expect to pay a licensed professional anywhere from $350 to $500. In the long run it’s more cost effective and much safer than doing it yourself.

Risks: No matter how skilled your professional pilot might be, there are still risks involved when it comes to using drones. Before you take off, you’ll want to be sure you have insurance in place in case of unforeseen property damage, as well as damage to the drone itself.

Be proactive: Be sure to notify local law enforcement and surrounding neighbors before you take to the sky.

Where to start: In late summer of 2016 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the use of drones for commercial use and removed a restriction that mandated a full FAA pilot’s license replacing it with $150 drone license. Check out the National Association of Realtors drone resource page for FAQ’s, timeline and political advocacy resources.

Drones, like other new technologies will continue to drop in price as demand increases. While it is true that drones will first be employed to highlight and promote luxury properties, they will no doubt become more main stream as costs come down. More than anything, a drone is an excellent differentiator, giving prospective buyers a bird’s eye view of the house, the property and the neighborhood.

If you have water or fire damage to your home, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

Early-season storms one indicator of active Atlantic hurricane season ahead

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Early-season storms one indicator of active Atlantic hurricane season ahead Satellite picture of a hurricane in the Atlantic

Today NOAA issued the scheduled update for its 2017 hurricane season outlook. Forecasters are now predicting a higher likelihood of an above-normal season, and they increased the predicted number of named storms and major hurricanes. The season has the potential to be extremely active, and could be the most active since 2010.

Forecasters now say there is a 60-percent chance of an above-normal season (compared to the May prediction of 45 percent chance), with 14-19 named storms (increased from the May predicted range of 11-17) and 2-5 major hurricanes (increased from the May predicted range of 2-4). A prediction for 5-9 hurricanes remains unchanged from the initial May outlook.  

“We’re now entering the peak of the season when the bulk of the storms usually form,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “The wind and air patterns in the area of the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean where many storms develop are very conducive to an above-normal season. This is in part because the chance of an El Nino forming, which tends to prevent storms from strengthening, has dropped significantly from May.”

Bell noted other factors that point to an above-normal season include warmer waters across the tropical Atlantic than models previously predicted and higher predicted activity from available models.

In just the first nine weeks of this season there have been six named storms, which is half the number of storms during an average six-month season and double the number of storms that would typically form by early August. An average Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1-November 30, produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

“Today’s updated outlook underscores the need for everyone to know their true vulnerabilities to storms and storm surge,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. “As we enter the height of hurricane season, it’s important for everyone to know who issues evacuation orders in their community, heed the warnings, update their insurance and have a preparedness plan.”

The updated outlook is based on the current and evolving atmospheric and oceanic conditions, the most recent model predictions, and pre-and early-season storm activity. The numbers announced today include the season activity to-date. The Atlantic basin has seen six named storms (Arlene in April; Bret and Cindy in June; Don and Emily in July; and Franklin in August). Two of these storms, Cindy and Emily, struck the United States. Cindy made landfall on June 22 at the Louisiana-Texas border and caused heavy rain, inland flooding and multiple tornado outbreaks. Emily made landfall on July 31 in Anna Maria Island, Florida. Franklin is predicted to make landfall in Mexico overnight as a hurricane.

Today’s update also decreases the chance of a near-normal season from 35 percent to 30 percent, and a below-normal season from 20 percent to only 10 percent from the initial outlook issued in May.

As we move into the peak of hurricane season, when hurricanes are most frequent and at their strongest, NOAA urges coastal residents to make sure they have their hurricane preparedness plans in place and to monitor the latest forecasts.

If you are affected by a hurricane, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Ten tips to help prevent water damage to your home

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ten tips to help prevent water damage to your home A SERVPRO truck extracting water after a burst pipe.
  1. Disconnect hoses

Standing water in a hose may freeze back into the pipe. This may create an ice block that stops your water flow. The block may may burst your pipes and create damage to walls, floor and foundation.

  1. Clean gutters and downspouts

Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid blockage and ice dams. Standing water can cause damage to your gutters and roof, and unmanaged overflow may create puddles that could damage your foundation.

Don't forget to clean downspouts to ensure water can flow through, and secure downspouts so that they point away from the home.

  1. Maintain trees and vegetation

Thriving shrubs can be a beautiful thing — except when their roots wrap around your pipes and break them. That's why it's important to minimize landscaping near utility pipes or, if necessary, remove trees and shrubs that have become too big.

Interior Measures to Prevent Water Damage

  1. Know your water main

Know the location of your water main, and shut it off if you leave for an extended amount of time. If no water goes in to the house, chances are no faucet drips can wreak havoc on your home while you're away.

  1. Check appliances regularly

Check and maintain your home appliances regularly for leaks, according to manufacturer's directions. 

  1. Investigate leaks right away and fix promptly

If you opt to ignore moisture damage or postpone making the necessary repairs, be prepared to experience mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage to your home.

Keep in mind that homeowner's insurance provides coverage for damage that is sudden and accidental. Damage that results from lack of maintenance is not covered on a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

If it's too late and you're already dealing with a wet disaster, check out advice on how to minimize water damage in your home.

  1. Upgrade washing machine hoses

Old, brittle or leaky washing machine hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss for homeowners. Replace yours regularly to avoid a mighty mess and expensive damage.

  1. Install water detection devices

A water detector is a small electronic device that sounds an alarm when its sensor comes in contact with moisture. Its main benefit is that it detects low moisture levels or slow leaks that often go unnoticed. Install it near water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets to prevent extensive damage and mold growth.

  1. Check your water pressure

If the water pressure to your home is set too high, pipes and hoses may fail under the pressure. Buy a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store, attach it to an outside faucet, and turn the faucet to full force. The gauge will give you a reading of the home’s water pressure.

Typical residential water systems are designed for water pressure of 40 to 70 psi. If your home’s water pressure exceeds 100 psi, install a pressure regulator (which is available at hardware stores as well.) 

  1. Monitor your water bill 

Sometimes, the only way you know that water is leaking is taking a closer look at your water bill. If your usage jumps significantly from one month to the next without explanation, put your "water detective hat" on. Is there a leak in your crawlspace? Or, is it a pipe in your front yard? Don't leave mystery leaks unattended!

If you have had water damage to your home please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

The top ten causes of household fires.

8/11/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The top ten causes of household fires. Fires can be prevented if you use common sense.

A house can easily catch fire from the misuse of appliances to smoking in bedrooms. You can take measures to avoid fire in your home and ensure the safety of your family. Below are some of the most common causes of household fires, and some tips to take precautions.

  1. Cooking Equipment

Pots and pans can overheat and cause a fire very easily if the person cooking gets distracted and leaves cooking unattended. Always stay in the room, or ask someone to watch your food, when cooking on hotplates.

  1. Heating

Keep portable heaters at least 5’ away from anything that could easily catch fire such as furniture, curtains, laundry, clothes and even you. If you have a furnace, get it inspected once a year to make sure it is working to safety standards.

  1. Smoking in bedrooms

Bedrooms are best to be kept off limits for smoking. A cigarette that is not put out properly can cause a flame, as the butt may stay alit for a few hours. It could burst into flames if it came into contact with flammable materials, such as furniture. Did you know that fires started in the bedroom or lounge make up 73% of all house fire fatalities?

  1. Electrical Equipment

An electrical appliance, such as a toaster can start a fire if it is faulty or has a frayed cord. A power point that is overloaded with double adapter plugs can cause a fire from an overuse of electricity. A power point extension cord can also be a fire hazard if not used appropriately. Double check the appliances and power points in your home.

  1. Candles

Candles look and smell pretty, but if left unattended they can cause a room to easily burst into flames. Keep candles away from any obviously flammable items such as books and tissue boxes. Always blow a candle out before leaving a room. Did you know that in Perth last year 34 house fires started as a result of candles?²

  1. Curious Children

Kids can cause a fire out of curiosity, to see what would happen if they set fire to an object. Keep any matches or lighters out of reach of children, to avoid any curiosity turned disaster. Install a smoke alarm in your child’s room and practice a home escape plan with your children and family in case there was a fire. Inform your kids the importance of knowing their address knowing their address and if they needed to, call 911.

  1. Faulty Wiring

Homes with inadequate wiring can cause fires from electrical hazards. Some signs to see if you’ve bad wiring are: 1) Lights dim if you use another appliance; 2) For an appliance to work, you have to disconnect another; 3) Fuses blow or trip the circuit frequently. Have a licensed electrician come and inspect your house, or contact your landlord if you have any of the above occurrences.

  1. Barbeques

Barbeques are great for an outdoor meal, but should always be used away from the home, tablecloths or any plants and tree branches. Keep BBQs regularly maintained and cleaned with soapy water and clean any removable parts. Check the gas bottle for any leaks before you use it each time.

  1. Flammable Liquids

If you have any flammable liquids in the home or garage such as petrol, kerosene or ethylated spirits, keep them away from heat sources and check the label before storing. Be careful when pouring these liquids.

  1. Lighting

Lamp shades and light fittings can build up heat if they are very close to light globes. Check around the house to make sure. Lamp bases can become a hazard if they are able to be knocked over easily, and so should be removed if they are. Check that down lights are insulated from wood paneling or ceiling timbers.

The above tips are a good guide to avoiding a fire in your home. If you do have a fire and need assistance with the cleanup, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Deodorizing contents after a fire

8/10/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Deodorizing contents after a fire SERVPRO constructed an ozone chamber to deodorize contents.

The contents of a house that have had a fire usually need to be deodorized to eliminate lingering odors. SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont uses an ozone machine to eliminate these odors. Ozone, (O3), sometimes called "activated oxygen", contains three atoms of oxygen rather than the two atoms we normally breathe. Ozone is the second most powerful sterilizer in the world and can be used to destroy bacteria, viruses and odors. Interestingly ozone occurs quite readily in nature, most often as a result of lightning strikes that occur during thunderstorms. In fact the "fresh, clean, spring rain" smells that we notice after a storm most often results from nature's creation of ozone. However, we are probably most familiar with ozone from reading about the "ozone layer" that circles the planet above the earth's atmosphere. Here ozone is created by the sun's ultra-violet rays. This serves to protect us from the ultra-violet radiation.

How does ozone work?

The third oxygen atom of ozone makes it extremely reactive. This atom readily attaches itself to other odor molecules. When contaminants such as odors, bacteria or viruses make contact with ozone, their chemical structure is changed to less odorous compounds. As more ozone attacks the remaining compounds, the odor is eventually destroyed. This process is called oxidation. Ozone essentially reverts back to oxygen after it is used. This makes it a very environmentally friendly oxidant.

If your home or business has had a fire, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

12 Habits of exceptional leaders

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial 12 Habits of exceptional leaders Aristotle

Below are 12 essential behaviors that exceptional leaders rely on every day. Give them a try and you can become a better leader today.

  1. Courage

“Courage is the first virtue that makes all other virtues possible.” —Aristotle

People will wait to see if a leader is courageous before they’re willing to follow his or her lead. People need courage in their leaders. They need someone who can make difficult decisions and watch over the good of the group. They need a leader who will stay the course when things get tough. People are far more likely to show courage themselves when their leaders do the same.

For the courageous leader adversity is a welcome test. Like a blacksmith’s molding of a red-hot iron, adversity is a trial by fire that refines leaders and sharpens their game. Adversity emboldens courageous leaders and leaves them more committed to their strategic direction.

Leaders who lack courage simply toe the company line. They follow the safest path—the path of least resistance—because they’d rather cover their backside than lead.

  1. Effective Communication

“The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.” —Joseph Priestley

Communication is the real work of leadership. It’s a fundamental element of how leaders accomplish their goals each and every day. You simply can’t become a great leader until you are a great communicator.

Great communicators inspire people. They create a connection with their followers that is real, emotional, and personal, regardless of any physical distance between them. Great communicators forge this connection through an understanding of people and an ability to speak directly to their needs.

  1. Generosity

“A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.” —John Maxwell

Great leaders are generous. They share credit and offer enthusiastic praise. They’re as committed to their followers’ success as they are to their own. They want to inspire all of their employees to achieve their personal best – not just because it will make the team more successful, but because they care about each person as an individual.

  1. Humility

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” —C.S. Lewis

Great leaders are humble. They don’t allow their position of authority to make them feel that they are better than anyone else. As such, they don’t hesitate to jump in and do the dirty work when needed, and they won’t ask their followers to do anything they wouldn’t be willing to do themselves.

  1. Self-Awareness

“It is absurd that a man should rule others, who cannot rule himself.” —Latin Proverb

Contrary to what Dilbert might have us believe, leaders’ gaps in self-awareness are rarely due to deceitful, Machiavellian motives, or severe character deficits. In most cases, leaders—like everyone else—view themselves in a more favorable light than other people do.

Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence, a skill that 90% of top performing leaders possess in abundance. Great leaders’ high self-awareness means they have a clear and accurate image not just of their leadership style, but also of their own strengths and weaknesses. They know where they shine and where they’re weak, and they have effective strategies for leaning into their strengths and compensating for their weaknesses.

  1. Adherence to the Golden Rule +1

“The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become.” —Jon Wolfgang von Goethe

The Golden Rule – treat others as you want to be treated – assumes that all people are the same. It assumes that, if you treat your followers the way you would want a leader to treat you, they’ll be happy. It ignores that people are motivated by vastly different things. One person loves public recognition, while another loathes being the center of attention.

Great leaders don’t treat people how they themselves want to be treated. Instead, they take the Golden Rule a step further and treat each person as he or she would like to be treated. Great leaders learn what makes people tick, recognize their needs in the moment, and adapt their leadership style accordingly.

  1. Passion

“If you just work on stuff that you like and are passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” —Mark Zuckerberg

Passion and enthusiasm are contagious. So are boredom and apathy. No one wants to work for a boss that’s unexcited about his or her job, or even one who’s just going through the motions. Great leaders are passionate about what they do, and they strive to share that passion with everyone around them.

  1. Infectiousness

“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” —Reverend Theodore Hesburgh

Great leaders know that having a clear vision isn’t enough. You have to make that vision come alive so that your followers can see it just as clearly as you do. Great leaders do that by telling stories and painting verbal pictures so that everyone can understand not just where they’re going, but what it will look and feel like when they get there. This inspires others to internalize the vision and make it their own.

  1. Authenticity

“Just be who you are and speak from your guts and heart – it’s all a man has.” —Hubert Humphrey

Authenticity refers to being honest in all things – not just what you say and do, but who you are. When you’re authentic, your words and actions align with who you claim to be. Your followers shouldn’t be compelled to spend time trying to figure out if you have ulterior motives. Any time they spend doing so erodes their confidence in you and in their ability to execute.

Leaders who are authentic are transparent and forthcoming. They aren’t perfect, but they earn people’s respect by walking their talk.

  1. Approachability

“Management is like holding a dove in your hand. Squeeze too hard and you kill it, not hard enough and it flies away.” —Tommy Lasorda

Great leaders make it clear that they welcome challenges, criticism, and viewpoints other than their own. They know that an environment where people are afraid to speak up, offer insight, and ask good questions is destined for failure. By ensuring that they are approachable, great leaders facilitate the flow of great ideas throughout the organization.

  1. Accountability

“The ancient Romans had a tradition: Whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible: He stood under the arch.” —Michael Armstrong

Great leaders have their followers’ backs. They don’t try to shift blame, and they don’t avoid shame when they fail. They’re never afraid to say, “The buck stops here,” and they earn people’s trust by backing them up.

  1. Sense of Purpose

“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” —Ken Kesey

Whereas vision is a clear idea of where you’re going, a sense of purpose refers to an understanding of why you’re going there. People like to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Great leaders give people that feeling.

Bringing It All Together

Becoming a great leader doesn’t mean that you have to incorporate all of these traits at once. Focus on one or two at a time; each incremental improvement will make you more effective. It’s okay if you “act” some of these qualities at first. The more you practice, the more instinctive it will become, and the more you’ll internalize your new leadership style.

Lightning Science: Five Ways Lightning Strikes People

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Lightning Science: Five Ways Lightning Strikes People Lightning filling up the sky

Direct Strike

A person struck directly by lightning becomes a part of the main lightning discharge channel. Most often, direct strikes occur to victims who are in open areas. Direct strikes are not as common as the other ways people are struck by lightning, but they are potentially the most deadly. In most direct strikes, a portion of the current moves along and just over the skin surface (called flashover) and a portion of the current moves through the body--usually through the cardiovascular and/or nervous systems. The heat produced when lightning moves over the skin can produce burns, but the current moving through the body is of greatest concern. While the ability to survive any lightning strike is related to immediate medical attention, the amount of current moving through the body is also a factor.

Side Flash

A side flash (also called a side splash) occurs when lightning strikes a taller object near the victim and a portion of the current jumps from taller object to the victim. In essence, the person acts as a “short circuit” for some of energy in the lightning discharge. Side flashes generally occur when the victim is within a foot or two of the object that is struck. Most often, side flash victims have taken shelter under a tree to avoid rain or hail.

Ground Current

When lightning strikes a tree or other object, much of the energy travels outward from the strike along the ground surface. This is known as the ground current. Anyone outside near a lightning strike is potentially a victim of ground current. In addition, ground current can travels in garage floors with conductive materials. Because the ground current affects a much larger area than the other causes of lightning casualties, the ground current causes the most lightning deaths and injuries. Ground current also kills many farm animals. Typically, the lightning enters the body at the contact point closest to the lightning strike, travels through the cardiovascular and/or nervous systems, and exits the body at the contact point farthest from the lightning. The greater the distance between contact points, the greater the potential for death or serious injury. Because large farm animals have a relatively large body-span, ground current from a nearby lightning strike is often fatal to livestock.

Conduction

Lightning can travel long distances in wires or other metal surfaces. Metal does not attract lightning, but it provides a path for the lightning to follow. Most indoor lightning casualties and some outdoor casualties are due to conduction. Whether inside or outside, anyone in contact with anything connected to metal wires, plumbing, or metal surfaces that extend outside is at risk. This includes anything that plugs into an electrical outlet, water faucets and showers, corded phones, and windows and doors.

Streamers

While not as common as the other types of lightning injuries, people caught in “streamers” are at risk of being killed or injured by lightning. Streamers develop as the downward-moving leader approaches the ground. Typically, only one of the streamers makes contact with the leader as it approaches the ground and provides the path for the bright return stroke; however, when the main channel discharges, so do all the other streamers in the area. If a person is part of one of these streamers, they could be killed or injured during the streamer discharge even though the lightning channel was not completed between the cloud and the upward streamer.

 If you are a homeowner, property or facilities manager and you are affected by lightning please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617)864-7378 to assist you

10 places you may find bed bugs

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial 10 places you may find bed bugs Bed bugs flat shape enable them to crawl into tight spaces

You’ve heard all about bedbugs in hotels, but did you know they’re also hiding (and waiting to hitch a ride home with you) in these common public places? Bedbugs are smaller than a grain of rice, but visible to the naked eye. So be on the lookout, and check out the top 10 places to accidentally pick up bedbugs.

Public Libraries

Crawling into bed with a good book has taken on a whole new meaning if you’re borrowing books from the public library system. Before you head home with a stash of bestsellers, check the pages and spines for bedbugs circulating from one reader’s home to the next.

Retail Stores

From clothes to furniture, bedbugs are just waiting for moving day. In the summer of 2010, retail shops around Manhattan were closed for fumigation when bedbugs were found hiding out in the goods. Investigate any possible purchases for unusual stains and shake out clothing before bringing it into the house.

Movie Theaters

You may catch more than a matinee at your local Cineplex. With cushy, upholstered seats and plenty of human hosts, the movie theater is prime real estate for bedbugs looking for a meal. Limit the personal belongings you bring with you to avoid bringing home your own critter horror show.

Planes, Trains and Buses

All kinds of people take public transportation, and bedbugs ride for free on planes, trains and buses. Bedbugs are small and hard to detect, so it’s unlikely you’ll see the pests getting cozy in your seat. However, you can take precautions when you return home -- don’t place your bags on your bed, and closely inspect your belongings when you unpack.

Daycares, Schools and Colleges

Stuffed animals, cubbies and dorms are incubators for all things gross, and bedbugs are spreading along with the rest of the germs among students and roommates. Kids in daycare share their cots and beloved toys from home. College kids bring home their laundry and bedbugs. Check in with the school director or resident advisor for reports of a bedbug invasion.

Places of Worship

Is nothing sacred? Clearly not for bedbugs who have been known to congregate in the holiest of places including temples, churches and religious meeting halls. Know how to spot a bedbug, and don’t let your guard down, even when offering up a prayer and gathering with like-minded worshippers.

Business Offices

The newest agenda item for many businesses is battling bedbugs that are just as likely to nestle into the carpet or furniture in the boardroom as they are in a bedroom. With clients and packages coming and going, bedbugs may move into an office space traveling on backpacks, briefcases, boxes, business suits or casual Friday

Business Offices

The newest agenda item for many businesses is battling bedbugs that are just as likely to nestle into the carpet or furniture in the boardroom as they are in a bedroom. With clients and packages coming and going, bedbugs may move into an office space traveling on backpacks, briefcases, boxes, business suits or casual Friday clothing.

Laundry Facilities

If you’re sorting and folding in shared spaces, there’s more to worry about than mixing your lights and darks, as bedbugs invade even the cleanest spots in town. Bedbug victims are often instructed to wash and dry infected clothing and personal belongings using extremely high heat. Avoid cross contamination in the Laundromat by keeping your dirty laundry to yourself, investigating tables and chairs, and using the hottest washing and drying temperatures possible.

Hospitals and Nursing Homes

Bedbugs don’t discriminate against the sick or the old, and to prove this point, hospitals around the country had to quarantine patient rooms and triage centers in late summer and fall 2010 to deal with bedbugs. You won’t likely have time to investigate beds and furniture if you get sick, but rest assured, bedbugs do not carry or spread disease.

Consignment, Thrift Shops and Yard Sales

Forgo the bargain-hunting and splurge on new goods to avoid bringing home bedbugs. If you just can’t pass up a sale, at least try to stay away from used mattresses, bed frames and headboards. You may save money, but professional treatment for a bedbug infestation can set you back thousands of dollars.

If you are a property or facilities manager, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you

Mold facts

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold facts Heavy mold growth on back of shetrock

Mildew and molds are fungi - simple microscopic organisms that thrive anywhere there is a moist environment. Molds are a necessary part of the environment; without them, leaves would not decay and aspects of soil enrichment could not take place. It is their ability to destroy organic materials, however, that makes mold a problem for people - in our homes and in our bodies.

Mildew (mold in early stage) and molds grow on wood products, ceiling tiles, cardboard, wallpaper, carpets, drywall, fabric, plants, foods, insulation, decaying leaves and other organic materials.

Mold growths, or colonies, can start to grow on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours. They reproduce by spores - tiny, lightweight “seeds”- that travel through the air. Molds digest organic material, eventually destroying the material they grow on, and then spread to destroy adjacent organic material. In addition to the damage molds can cause in your home, they can also cause mild to severe health problems. See the HEALTH section to check for possible mold related health problems.

Mold and mildew will develop within 24-48 hours of water exposure. Even worse, it will continue to grow until steps are taken to eliminate the source of moisture, and effectively deal with the mold problem.

Use the diagram on the facing page to assess the extent of mold in your home. We are all exposed to many kinds of mold both inside and outside the house. The exposure is greater in damp or wet conditions, especially when timely drying out do not have a chance to occur. Of the thousands of molds that exist, some are known allergens (aggravating or causing skin, eye, and respiratory problems), and a few molds produce harmful mycotoxins that can cause serious problems. But all molds, in the right conditions and high enough concentrations, are capable of adversely affecting human health.

Health issues caused by mold

The potential for health problems occurs when people inhale large quantities of the airborne mold spores. For some people, however, a relatively small number of mold spores can cause health problems. Infants, children, immune-compromised patients, pregnant women, individuals with existing respiratory conditions, and the elderly are at higher risks for adverse health effects from mold.

Typical symptoms reported from mold exposure include:

Respiratory problems -wheezing, asthma attacks, etc

Nasal and sinus congestion or dry, hacking cough

Eye irritation - burning, watery, redness

Nose or throat irritation -sneezing fits, bloody noses

Skin irritations -rashes or hives

Nervous system -headaches, memory loss, mood changes

Aches and pains

The more serious health problems have been associated with the toxic black mold, Stachybotrys atra. The mold is greenish-black and slimy, resembling tar or black paint. Stachybotrys typically grows only on repeatedly wetted materials that contain cellulose - from paper to ceiling tiles, and any kind of wood. In most cases, this mold can be removed by a thorough cleaning with a 10% bleach solution. Severe mold infestations may require the assistance of a professional with experience in dealing with Stachybotrys.

Mold prevention

There is no practical way for you to eliminate all of the molds and mold spores in the indoor environment. But there are many ways to help control moisture and mold growth in your home. Here is a partial list: Stop the water

  • Fix leaks in pipes, and any damp areas around tubs and sinks, so that biological pollutants don’t have growing environments.
  • Rebuild, or retrofit, with water-resistant building materials such as tiles, stone, deep-sealed concrete, galvanized or stainless steel hardware, indoor/ outdoor carpeting, waterproof wallboard, water-resistant glues, and so on.
  • Prevent seepage of water from outdoors into your house. Rain water from gutters or the roof needs to drain away from the house. Ground around the house needs to slope away to keep basement and crawlspace dry.
  • Cover dirt in crawlspaces with plastic to prevent moisture from coming from the ground. Ventilate the area as much as possible.

If you have a mold issue, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

NOAA METEOROLOGIST BOB CASE, THE MAN WHO NAMED THE PERFECT STORM

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage NOAA METEOROLOGIST BOB CASE, THE MAN WHO NAMED THE PERFECT STORM Radar picture of the storm.

June 16, 2000 — The conditions were "perfect" for a monstrous storm, a meteorological time bomb that would explode in the northern Atlantic Ocean creating waves ten stories high and imperiling the New England fleet. This was the assessment of Bob Case, a NOAA National Weather Service meteorologist at the Boston, Mass. forecast office, who, with his weather service colleagues in late October 1991, began warning the public of a storm that would take on epic proportions.

"It was an unprecedented set of circumstances," the now-retired weatherman said. "A strong disturbance associated with a cold front moved along the U.S.-Canadian border on October 27 and passed through New England pretty much without incident. At the same time, a huge high pressure system was forecast to build over southeast Canada. When a low pressure system along the front moved into the Maritimes southeast of Nova Scotia, it began to intensify due to the cold dry air introduced from the north," according to Case.

"These circumstances alone, could have created a strong storm," Case said. "But then, like throwing gasoline on a fire, a dying hurricane Grace delivered immeasurable tropical energy to create the perfect storm."

With all of the contributing factors coming together at just the right time, in less than 24 hours, the storm exploded to epic proportions and then headed toward the coast," the meteorologist said, adding that if any of the components were out of sync, the epic storm would not have happened."

While NOAA's National Weather Service was warning of a storm of huge proportions, New England was enjoying unusually nice weather for late October—a beautiful late autumn day with plenty of sunshine and a northeast breeze, Case explained. "There was a certain amount of skepticism to our warnings of what turned out to be one of the North Atlantic's most powerful storms."

One of Case's colleagues at the Boston office was Walt Drag, a forecaster who shared his passion for meteorology. "Walt had a good handle on it early and the office put out warnings of a big storm," Case said. "This is an area well known for breeding tremendous storms and we could see it coming together on the satellite images and computer model information from the national center in Washington."

"You knew something bad was going to happen," said Ross Dickman another NWS meteorologist who worked the storm. "I remember seeing waves crashing over the seawall at Winthrop (Mass.) sending spray a hundred feet into the air. It was incredible."

An interesting aspect of the huge system was its retrograde motion not away from the New England Coast, but toward it. "It was difficult for us to convey the magnitude of the event to the public," Case said. "Not too many people could fathom–or believe–100-foot waves and hurricane force winds, 70-80 miles-per-hour plus, in a storm that was heading from east to west. "You were looking at a set of meteorological circumstances that come together maybe every 50-100 years."

Lightning rods can protect your house from lightning damage.

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Lightning rods can protect your house from lightning damage. Lightning rods on a dwelling

Lightning rods (and the accompanying protection system) are designed to protect a house or building from a direct lightning strike and, in particular, a lightning-initiated fire. Note that lightning protection systems do not prevent lightning from striking the structure, but rather intercept a lightning strike, provide a conductive path for the harmful electrical discharge to follow (the appropriate UL-listed copper or aluminum cable), and disperse the energy safely into the ground (grounding network). It's very important that these components be properly connected (bonded) to minimize the chances for any sparks or side flashes. While lightning rods help protect a structure from a direct lightning strike, a complete lightning protection system is needed to help prevent harmful electrical surges and possible fires caused by lightning entering a structure via wires and pipes. A complete system also includes electrical surge protection devices for incoming power, data, and communication lines; and surge protection devices for vulnerable appliances. Lightning protection may also be needed for gas piping. Any lightning protection system should follow the national safety standards and requirements of the Lightning Protection Institute, National Fire Protection Association, and Underwriters Laboratories. If lightning causes a fire in your house, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

Mold in schools and commercial buildings

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Mold in schools and commercial buildings Extensive mold on walls and ceiling

Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.

Molds reproduce by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on.

Many types of molds exist. All molds have the potential to cause health effects. Molds can produce allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people allergic to mold. Others are known to produce potent toxins and/or irritants. Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth.

Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Some of these changes have resulted in buildings that are tightly sealed, but may lack adequate ventilation, potentially leading to moisture buildup. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems may include:

  • Roof leaks
  • Landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building
  • Unvented combustion appliances
  • Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems in schools and large buildings

Moisture problems in portable classrooms and other temporary structures have frequently been associated with mold problems. When mold growth occurs in buildings, adverse health problems may be reported by some building occupants, particularly those with allergies or respiratory problems. Remediators should avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dusts as they conduct their cleanup activities. Caution should be used to prevent mold and mold spores from being dispersed throughout the air where they can be inhaled by building occupants.

If you are a facilities manager, maintenance supervisor or property manager and you have a mold issue; please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Fire safety and prevention tips

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire safety and prevention tips A smoke alarm should be placed on every floor

BEFORE A FIRE

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.

ASK THE FIRE DEPARTMENT TO INSPECT YOUR HOME FOR FIRE SAFETY AND

PREVENTION

DURING A FIRE

If your clothes catch on fire, you should:

  • Stop, drop, and roll until the fire is extinguished.

DO NOT PANIC

  • Do not assume someone else already called the fire department get out of the house then call the Fire Department.

ESCAPE A FIRE

  • Check closed doors with the back of your hand to feel for heat before you open them.
  • If the door is hot do not open it. Find a second way out, such as a window. If you cannot escape through a window, hang a white sheet outside the window to alert firefighters to your presence.
  • Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, rags, bedding or tape and cover vents to keep smoke out.
  • If there is a phone in the room where you are trapped, call the fire department again and tell them exactly where you are.
  • If the door is cold slowly open it and ensure that fire and/or smoke is not blocking your escape

Route. If your escape route is blocked, shut the door and use another escape route.

  • If clear, leave immediately and close the door behind you. Be prepared to crawl.

AFTER A FIRE

  • Once you are out of the building, STAY OUT! Do not go back inside for any reason.
  • If you are with a burn victim or are a burn victim yourself call 911, cool and cover your burns until emergency units arrive.
  • If you are a tenant contact the landlord.
  • Tell the fire department if you know of anyone trapped in the building.
  • Only enter when the fire department tells you it is safe to do so.

Puffbacks cause soot damage

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Puffbacks cause soot damage Heavy soot caused by a puffback

If your home has an oil burning furnace, there are several dangers to be aware of. Any furnace can experience a puff back, while puff backs are more common with oil systems, a furnace puff back can also occur with forced air, gas and hot water heating systems. A puff back in a furnace is a volatile explosion that occurs inside your furnace. The result of this explosion is fire and smoke being spewed out from your furnace. This fire, smoke and soot will damage your homes building materials and contents. This explosion will not be lethal, but can cause thousands of dollars in costly repairs and damage restoration, and can also cause health problems for you and your family. The explosions are caused by a buildup of vapor inside your furnace. This build up can occur with furnaces which have not been maintained properly. Parts sometimes need to be replaced, and bi yearly cleaning of your furnace and heating system will help prevent puff backs. Conducting a yearly exam of your heating system or having a professional check your heating system yearly will often times fully prevent a puff back from ever occurring.

 If you have experience a puff back avoids doing the following: Try to clean or wash away soot residue yourself. This soot and smoke residue needs special cleaning methods, as it spreads easily. Soot stains can also set very quickly, making soot damage especially trick to clean if you should do it wrong. Soot is black carbon, and black carbon will stain extremely quickly when mixed with water and common household liquid cleaners. Should you attempt to remove the soot yourself and end up staining something with soot in your home, a professional cleaner may be required to remove the stain. Should you have soot damage, you should leave it to a professional to clean. SERVPRO professionals trained in soot damage have special cleaners and cleaning methods to use to remove your soot and soot damage. Use furniture or walk on carpeting affected by the fire or puff back. Do not use furniture that has been exposed to heat, soot or smoke. You can cause further damage to your furniture, until it is professionally cleaned and restored. Do not turn on any electronics such as computer, stereo's, and TV's until you have had them checked for soot damaged. Computers can be especially vulnerable and ruined as soon as they are turned on if soot has made its way inside them. This soot also contains a corrosive element, which will damage home's building materials, and contents such as your electronics, furniture, clothing and more. Not only can this soot damage your property, it can also affect the health of your loved ones by causing respiratory problems. This soot will often have a very terrible odor that will swiftly travel throughout the home, and will need to be cleaned and deodorized in order to remove the offensive odor from your home. If the soot and smoke travels through your home's duct work, it will need to be cleaned and deodorized as well. You also need to have a professional check your furnace following a puff back, to avoid further incidents. You may have a faulty part or an oil burner that may need replacing. If the problem is ignored, it can cause repeated and long lasting effects to your home. Should you have experienced a furnace puff back, you should SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to help with the clean up.

Three retail businesses affected by water damage.

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Three retail businesses affected by water damage. Water extraction from retail business

On late June of this year a pipe broke in the middle of the night causing water to pour into the 2 retail businesses below. At 6:30 Am the commercial property owner was notified and he immediately called SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont SERVPRO’s crew arrived and immediately began to extract the water. The business owner was hoping to be open for business at his usual 9:30 AM opening time. Additional crews were dispatched to take care of the 2 other business affected.  The crews worked feverishly to ensure that all 3 businesses could open at their usual time.  The SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont project manager using a moisture detector and infrared camera created a moisture map to determine all affected floors, walls and ceilings. The project managed related this information to the crews so that they could strategically place the necessary drying equipment. The equipment was set up and the businesses were open at their usual time. If your home or business has undergone water damage, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

Flooded basements during heavy rain storms

7/24/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flooded basements during heavy rain storms Diagram of Public sewer system

The heavy rains that occurred in the Cambridge/Belmont area caused not only flooding but also many sewage back ups. The town & cities sewage system gets overwhelmed causing the sewage to flow into basements through toilets and sinks. When a storm drain suffers a partial or complete blockage, rain water gets trapped in the pipes and must go somewhere. Unfortunately, the only exit point is the pipe servicing your home that connects to the sewer line. With nowhere left to go it goes up through your pipe, pushing whatever refuse and filth it’s carrying into your basement and other areas of your home. Contact your local plumber to install a backwater valve to prevent this from happening to you! If your basement gets flooded or has sewage issues, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you. Did you know that SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont also helps Commercial and Industrial customers?

How to prevent unwanted pests from your home without use of harmful chemicals

7/20/2017 (Permalink)

General How to prevent unwanted pests from your home without use of harmful chemicals Household ants in the Kitchen

Do you have a pest infestation? When insect and rodents invade your home it's time to fight back. Living in the country I've had to deal with my fair share of pests. I used to go straight for store bought pesticides. While they worked great at getting the job done, I absolutely hated the smell of them and I wasn't too crazy about using harmful chemicals in areas where my kids and pets often played. According to DIY Home Sweet Home, these are great ways to safely eliminate unwanted pests

ANTS

Repel: Clean with white vinegar. Not only does vinegar make a great all-purpose cleaner but ants can't stand the smell and it will mask their scent trails so they will lose their direction. Follow the ants to locate the food source (usually something sticky that has been spilled on the counter or floor). Removing the source and cleaning the area with a solution of one part vinegar and one part water a couple times a day will usually eliminate the ants. 

Exterminate: If you still find ants try this simple bait recipe. Mix one part powdered sugar to one part baking soda*. Place this mixture in small shallow dishes (I found that Gatorade or juice lids work perfect for this) and leave around the home in places where you often find ants.  *Please note large amounts of baking soda can be harmful to pets. For this recipe you should only be using a small amount but to be on the safe side I would place the mixture in areas where your pets can't get to it.

COCKROACHES

Repel: Place mint & bay leaves around the home. Cockroaches hate the smell and will stay away. I like to place the leaves in small mesh or muslin bags and place in dark areas such as closets and cabinets where cockroaches like to hang out.  Exterminate: The same recipe we used above for ants will also kill cockroaches. Place equal parts of powdered sugar and baking soda into shallow containers and leave around the home where you notice cockroaches.

MOSQUITOES

Repel:  Grow marigolds, basil, & mint. Mosquitoes are repelled by the strong scent of these plants. Place live plants around your home or place dry mint leaves in muslin bags to keep in your home. Also cleaning with mint or citrus scented cleaner will do wonders at keeping mosquitoes away.  Exterminate: Make a mosquito trap. Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 cup hot water. Cut the top off of a bottle. In the bottom half of the bottle add the cooled down brown sugar mixture and 1 gram of yeast. Place the top half of the bottle upside-down inside the bottle. Wrap a sheet of black construction paper around the bottle and tape it in place. Place the bottle in at area of your home where you find the most mosquitoes. Placing these bottles in your front and back yard a few feet away from your home will also attract the mosquitoes and trap them before they have a chance to enter the home.  Mosquito’s larvae live in water. Removing any standing water around your home can greatly reduce the amount of mosquitoes in and around your home. 

MICE

Repel:  Mice hate peppermint. Place a few drops of peppermint essential oil and a drop of dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray this around your home especially any entry points or holes that mice use to come into the home.  Exterminate: The best way I've found to kill mice is a simple mouse trap. I've tried other traps and even tried poison with little or no luck. Place a small amount of peanut butter or cheese on the traps before you set them and leave them in several areas around your home where mice have been seen making sure they are out of reach of children and pets. Be sure to check the traps often. You don't want a dead mouse stinking up your home. If you would like to catch mice without killing them try out this handmade 5 gallon bucket trap and leave out the water.  SPIDERS

Repel:  Peppermint repels spiders. The same recipe used above to repel mice also repels spiders. You can replace the water with white vinegar and it makes a great cleaner. Use this solution to wipe down counters, appliances and even the floors. Your home will be spider free in no time.  Exterminate: Fill a spray bottle with one part white vinegar and one part water. Spray this directly on spiders. The acid in the vinegar will kill spiders on contact. FLIES

Repel:  Lemons & cloves. Cut a lemon in half and stick several cloves in the pulp. Leave the lemon halves on your kitchen table or wherever flies gather. The scent of the lemon and cloves will drive the flies away.  Exterminate: Cut a plastic bottle in half. In the bottom half pour in a small amount of wine and fruit scraps. (I usually use strawberries or some kind of melon.) Place the top half of the bottle upside down inside the bottom half. Place the trap in your kitchen and replace every couple days until flies are gone. Another option would be to use rotten meat in place of fruit and place the trap outside, away from the home. The rotten meat smell will attract the flies and keep them away from your house.

OTHER

On top of following these methods of controlling insects you should also find a cleaning schedule that works for you and stick to it. Insects and rodents tend to like messy/dirty homes a lot more than they like clean home. It seems that every time I find pests in my home it's always after a busy week or after I haven't been feeling well. That's usually when I tend to slack on my cleaning schedule and it doesn't take long for the bugs to set up camp and move on in. Sticking to a cleaning schedule won't guarantee that you will not find bugs in your home but it does help a lot to minimize them.  Another great way to keep bugs out of your home is to make sure they can't get in the first place. Go over your entire house and look for areas where insects may be entering the home. Replace any caulking around windows and doors, check weather stripping to make sure it's in good shape, and fix or replace broken window screens.   After the pests are removed or exterminated and you need professional cleaning, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

Did you know that SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont also does Industrial and commercial work?

Wednesday night's storm causes flooding in Cambridge, MA

7/14/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Wednesday night's  storm causes flooding in Cambridge, MA Storm caused flooding

Wednesday night’s storm caused street flooding, flooded basements and sewage to be backed up into basements. Local restoration companies like SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont were busy helping homeowners and businesses with storm related issues. Storm related events that cause flooding or sewage back up problems are not typically covered by insurance. Specialty policies or endorsements must be in place prior to a potential claim.

Precautions to prevent future flooding or damage

Certain preventive measures can be taken to prevent a City sewer from backing up into your basement during or after a heavy rain. Some are low cost, while others require corrective plumbing work.

  • Make sure sewer trap plugs are fit tightly on the house trap. Replace old ill-fitting sewer trap plugs with fit-all plugs.
  • If the house sewer line is solely for sanitary use (not for any rain water flow) a back-water check valve can be installed in front (the street side) of the house trap.
  • If the house sewer in question is also for storm water (rain water) flow and there are plumbing fixtures in the basement (such as a toilet, shower, or a sink) backwater check valves can be installed for individual plumbing fixtures.

What is a backwater check valve?

A backwater check valve is a self-operating valve that only allows for water flow in one direction. If properly maintained it will prevent water from flowing in the opposite direction thereby preventing a sewer backup from a public sewer system.

A backwater check valve should be cleaned every 6 months to a year, a task easily performed by a non-professional by removing a few screws. No special tools or skills are required for maintenance on a backwater check valve.

This relatively low-cost installation can prevent heavy rain from causing damage to your house ever again. If your basement gets flooded or has sewage back up, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you.

Sick Building Syndrome

7/12/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Sick Building Syndrome Mold growth inside a commercial building

Toxins from mold can aerosolize directly into the air, which may help explain one cause of sick building syndrome. Mold growing in buildings can make people sick, especially people who are allergic to various fungi. It’s also known that various molds and fungi produce mycotoxins — chemicals that can sicken and even kill people and animals. What’s not been entirely clear is how mold growing in and on walls or elsewhere in buildings might make people sick.

An Indoor environmental Professional (IEP) tested three common types of fungi that can grow inside buildings and found that their mycotoxins could and did disperse into the air until normal conditions. “These toxins can subsequently be aerosolized, at least partly, from moldy material,” was written in a report in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, published by the American Society for Microbiology.

“This transfer to air requires air velocities that can be encountered in ‘real life conditions’ in buildings. The three species they tested were Penicillium brevicompactum, Aspergillus versicolor and Stachybotrys chartarum, all of which grew on wallpaper in their lab. They all also produce mycotoxins.

It is estimated that, in Northern Europe and North America, 20 percent to 40 percent of buildings display macroscopically visible (visible to the eye) fungal growth. “For instance, Aspergillus versicolor, a potent producer of sterigmatocystin (STG), is one of the most frequent fungal contaminant of indoor environments that can be found together on building materials, in dust or in the air samples.”

Bottom of Form

The IEP’s team first grew the three fungi on ordinary wallpaper, and then tested to see if the toxins they produce could get into the air without some sort of interference, such as tearing down walls. "We demonstrated that mycotoxins could be transferred from a moldy material to air, under conditions that may be encountered in buildings," the IEP said in a statement. The pieces were as small as or smaller than spores and “could be easily inhaled by occupants and deeply penetrate into (the) respiratory tract,” the IEP wrote. “It seems important to take these data in consideration for risk assessment related to fungal contamination of indoor environment and the possible toxicity associated to inhalation of these toxins.”

If you suspect that you have mold in your building, call an IEP. After you have the results back from an IEP, call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you with the mold remediation.

Tips for getting your home ready to sell

7/6/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Tips for getting your home ready to sell Too much clutter and personal items could be a hindrance during a house sale

When you’re selling your home it’s important to make your home as appealing to buyers as possible. This means de-cluttering and organizing specific areas of your home to draw them to the buyer’s attention. Today I’m sharing four important tips that are sure to help you get top dollar for your home.

Pack early!

I recommend starting to pack as early as possible. This will help clear out excess clutter and the things buyers don’t need to see. You don’t always using everything in your house, and there are definitely things you can live without for a period of time, to make your home more appealing to buyers.

Less is more. The less buyers see of your stuff, the more appealing your home will be, and your house will sell quicker.

Remember when you are packing to throw away, or donate, things that you haven’t used in awhile. There is no point in moving something you never use! If you find something and didn’t remember that you owned it you should probably just get rid of it. Moving is the perfect time to de-clutter your home!

Feature your best assets

When buyers walk through your home, the things they are most interested in are the kitchen and bathrooms. Spend a little bit of time and money to make these spaces in your home, the cleanest they could possibly be.

De-clutter the kitchen and bathrooms, so there’s nothing on the counters, except for maybe some fresh flowers. And don’t forget the cupboards and drawers! Buyers want to look to see how much space the cupboards have so de-clutter these areas and make sure they are nicely organized.

I highly recommend spending a little bit of money on each of these spaces and have the entire house be professionally cleaned, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378.

Update mirrors in the bathroom, paint the kitchen and bathrooms with a fresh coat of neutral paint, update the light fixtures, the cupboard knobs & pulls, etc. Anything you update in the space will draw the buyer’s attention and you’re guaranteed to make your money back when you sell your home

Neutral colors

Since we’re talking about updating, another thing that is sure to draw buyer’s attention is a neutral color scheme. You might like your bright blue bedroom and the accent wall in your living room, but the buyers won’t. Spend a little bit of time and money to paint over your bright and/or dark colors, with a neutral gray so the buyers can walk into your home and visualize their things in the space, and not be distracted by your color schemes.

Storage space is king

Buyers want to know your house has all the space it needs to store their stuff. De-clutter and spend some time organizing all your closets so buyers know your home has what they need! If a buyer looks in a closet and see stuff crammed in there, they will automatically assume there isn’t enough storage in the house, which is a huge downfall for you! Your closets are definitely one of the places it’s worth spending a little bit of time money to make them look as good as possible.

Once all the most important places of your home are cleaned up by a professional cleaner, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 for your cleaning, de-cluttered, and freshened up, your home is ready to list! If you follow these tried and true tips your home is sure to sell and you’ll be on your way to your new home. Congratulations and good luck!

Case Study: Mold growing on basement walls

7/5/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Case Study: Mold growing on basement walls Mold growth that could have been prevented

The Millers were away for a week and when they came home they noticed a smell coming from the basement. A pipe had developed a leak and was dripping water onto the carpet in their finished basement. The Millers called SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to assist them with the water damage. The crew arrived and checked the basement walls and floor for excessive moisture content. The SERVPRO crew determined that the water had wicked up the walls causing the positive readings. SERVPRO of Cambridge’s technician recommended to cut the walls and remove the insulation behind the walls so that the basement could be dried properly. The customer did not follow thew technicians advice and wanted only to have the pad removed and the carpet dried. A few weeks later, the Millers discovered black spots growing on the walls. They called SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont again to assess the situation. SERVPRO determined that mold had started growing and recommended that the walls be cur 6”inches past the mold growth, remove the insulation, heap-vacuum and spray an anti-microbial behind those walls. If you have water damage call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you and please follow the recommendations of the crew

Common plumbing problems & how to fix them

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Common plumbing problems & how to fix them Wanted, experienced plumber

You depend on your plumbing each and every day, from the hot water in your shower to the water boiling on your stove. As such, it’s important to maintain your plumbing regularly to make sure there aren’t any major issues such as leaks or sewage backups. But plumbing problems can still occur with regular maintenance, so it’s good to be aware of common plumbing issues and what you can do to solve them or minimize damage to your home.

Low Water Pressure

Proper water pressure is necessary for washing your hands, cleaning dishes, and taking a shower. If you’ve noticed a significant drop in your home’s water pressure, you probably have a clogged pipe. It’s also possible that you need to fully open your shutoff valve. If you’re only having water pressure issues with one faucet, the solution may be as simple as cleaning the aerator or removing a nearby clog.

Dripping Faucet

Depending on the severity of the drip, a dripping faucet can raise your water bill and waste a significant amount of water—not to mention how annoying it can be. Luckily, fixing a dripping faucet is usually as simple as replacing seats and springs or a washer in the faucet.

Running Toilet

It happens so frequently: minutes after flushing your toilet, you can still hear the toilet running as if the bowl is filling with water. This is an incredibly annoying problem to have, but usually, an easy one to fix. Remove the lid from your toilet tank and make sure that your tank ball, flapper valve, and flush valve are working properly—if any of them are sticking or not functioning right, they’re easy to replace.

Clogged Drain

Clogged or slow drains are probably the most common plumbing problem. Plumbing pipes are designed to allow water and waste to flow through freely, but over time, built up hair, soap scum and other debris can form a clog in your drain that prevents water from passing. This is almost sure to happen in any home given enough time. You can use vinegar and baking soda to break up clogs in your sink, or you can buy a drain auger and remove the clog manually.

Sometimes the clog may be deeper in your pipes or too severe to easily remove, look into professional plumbing services; they have the equipment and expertise to clear clogged drains without causing damage to your plumbing. If you have sewage damage as a result of a clogged drain or other plumbing issues, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Leaking Pipes

Leaks aren’t just an annoyance; they can significantly increase your water bill and quickly cause damage to your home. If you have a leaking pipe that’s beyond a slow drip, shut your water off as soon as possible. If there is any chance of mold or structural damage to your home, call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to avoid spending a fortune on repairs. Leaking pipes generally need to be replaced, but you can use marine tape or epoxy to cover small leaks temporarily—just remember to shut the water off first.

No Hot Water

Have you ever rolled out of bed and into the shower only to find there’s no hot water? It’s not a good experience. Chances are you’ve got something wrong with your water heater, most probably an electrical problem such as a thermostat or element. If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting your water heater, it’s a good idea to get help from a trained, knowledgeable professional.

Plumbing truly is an essential part of our everyday lives. We can’t all be professional plumbers, but with a little bit of research and hard work, you can stay cool, calm and collected in the face of a plumbing emergency

 If you have water damage as a result of any of these or other plumbing issues, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Fast moving storm causes damage in Cambridge

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Fast moving storm causes damage in Cambridge Cleaning up the offices

The rain came quickly and only lasted a few minutes but it created significant damage to the Cambridge/Somerville area. Paula, the office manager, arrived in her office Wednesday morning and, her feet squished from the wet carpet. The rain was so overwhelming that the roof drain overflowed causing water to pour down into the office. She made a call to SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont and explained that she needed her office to be operational as it was their busy season. The SERVPRO technicians arrived within the hour. Melvin, the crew chief, tested walls and ceilings for excessive moisture, extracted the water from the carpets and left equipment to dry the wet walls ceiling and carpet. A few days later Melvin came back, tested the areas with a moisture and he found all areas to be dry. The crew shampooed the carpet and everything was back to normal in the office. If you have water or fire damage in your business, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Microburst downs trees in Cambridge, MA

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Microburst downs trees in Cambridge, MA Tree pierces kitchen ceiling

Yesterday’s microburst that occurred in the city of Cambridge resulted in about 50 limbs or branches down. Forestry crews are responding. There are also several wires down and loss of power in certain locations. The City Electrician, Eversource and SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont are responding. The above picture shows the damage that one of the downed trees caused. SERVPRO Of Cambridge/Belmont responded to a frantic call from the homeowner informing us that a tree came right through the kitchen ceiling. The SERVPRO technicians were at the Cambridge home in less than an hour. They cleaned up the debris and installed drying equipment.

To report a fallen tree or limb, call 617-349-3300.

To report a down wired, call 911 or 617-349-3300

To report loss of power, please call Eversourse at 1-800-592-2000

If you have had roof or water damage due to the Microburst please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

A microburst is a small downdraft that moves in a way opposite to a tornado. Microbursts are found in strong thunderstorms. There are two types of microbursts within a thunderstorm: wet microbursts and dry microbursts. They go through three stages in their cycle, the downburst, outburst, and cushion stages. A microburst often has high winds that can knock over fully grown trees. They usually last from a couple of seconds to several minutes.

Case Study - Mold growth caused by a hidden leaky pipe

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Case Study - Mold growth caused by a hidden leaky pipe Mold growth on Living Room Wall

A homeowner in Cambridge, MA moved a cabinet in their living room and saw black spots behind the cabinet and also growing on the cabinet. The homeowner called SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to assess the situation.  The SERVPRO technicians using a moisture meter discovered the wall and ceiling were both wet.  The technicians went upstairs to the room above the living room to determine the source of the water.  The room above was a bathroom, the technicians using the moisture meter, discovered the bathroom vanity was wet. SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont’s technicians removed the wall and found an old leaky pipe that had probably been dripping for a long period of time causing the mold growth in the living room.

 Mildew and molds are fungi - simple microscopic organisms that thrive anywhere there is a moist environment. Molds are a necessary part of the environment; without them, leaves would not decay and aspects of soil enrichment could not take place. It is their ability to destroy organic materials, however, that makes mold a problem for people - in our homes and in our bodies.

If you think you have a mold issue, call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-74378 to assist you

Professional Cleaning

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Professional Cleaning Professional Cleaners make a difference!

Professional cleaners

A house or an office is a place where a person spends most of his time in a day and these two places can leave a very big impression on other people who visit. The look of a house allows people to judge the taste and character of a house owner and by the look of an office, clients and customers will judge the owner and the whole staff whether they are efficient and or not. A dirty office or professional place can leave the impression that the owner and staff of the place are lazy and do not give importance to their work and clients. When it comes to deep cleaning it is just not about the cleaning of floors or your desk, it also includes the cleaning of windows, furniture, carpets and every small area of the place. In those conditions a person needs professional cleaner to help him with the cleaning. Please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you with your professional cleaning needs.

Water damage from hidden pipe leaks

6/8/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water damage from hidden pipe leaks Hidden Pipe leak under kitchen sink.

Whether it's behind the washer, above the ceiling or under the sink, a little drip can lead to big trouble. Water damage happens quickly and can be expensive to fix. Ignore a leak, and you not only could you have a mighty mess on your hands, but your home insurance probably won't bail you out. "What's really important to know for leaks is when did the insured notice it and take action," Says Michael Pridham from SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont

"People now build houses to be airtight," says Michael Pridham, owner of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont, a property-damage restoration service. "Houses are wrapped in plastic like Saran Wrap. That's good for energy conservation, but if water gets on the wrong side of that plastic, then mold will follow, as certainly as night follows day." Pridham observes that damage often occurs after people get security systems installed. Holes are drilled into airtight window frames for wires to run through them, but they aren't properly caulked and sealed, allowing water to slowly seep in over time. "You notice that maybe the wall below the window is looking funny, and by that time the framing behind it is rotted out," he says. If the homeowner reports the problem right away, it would likely be covered by home insurance.

Today's houses also have more bathrooms, and the washing machine is often located next to the master bedroom on an upper floor for convenience, Pridham notes. "That means you've got more pipes, and if the washing machine leaks, it can affect the third floor, the second floor, the first floor and even down to the basement," he says. For water damage from leaky appliances or pipes, the damage must be "sudden and accidental" in order to be covered by insurance - such as a pipe that bursts while you're washing clothes.

But what about a slow leak you can't see? Say, for instance, a pipe behind a wall leaks, and you don't notice it until water starts seeping through the wall. Are you covered? Most likely the answer is yes, as long as you take action as soon as there is evidence of the leak, Pridham says. "Nobody expects you to tear out your drywall now and again to check the pipes. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378. They will send out a crew to test the walls using moisture detectors and an infrared camera.

Insurance companies understand it's impossible to know you have a hidden leak until the damage becomes apparent. The same goes for leaks behind and under appliances, or above a ceiling. If you can't see the leak, you can still make an insurance claim as long as you report it when it becomes apparent. Don't expect much sympathy if you ignore the wet spot in your ceiling, only to report it when the problem gets worse. The insurance adjuster probably will be able to tell if the damage is fresh.

"If the insured had a leak in the roof and had a pot under it for six months, then that damage is not covered," Pridham of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont says. "Insurance Professionals are pretty good at seeing whether a wet spot has been there for a while. Sometimes they have engineers go out to look." When it comes to insurance coverage, everything depends on the language in your policy. Although most policies cover damage from leaks as long as you responded quickly, language among policies differs. Keep in mind, though, that while home insurance may cover the water damage to the ceiling, floor, walls or furniture, it won't pay for replacing the worn-out pipe or the leaky roof (unless the roof was damaged by a covered peril, such as hail or a fallen tree).

Sergio Rodriguez, Production Manager for SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont suggests making sure all holes are properly caulked and sealed and keeping eaves and downspouts clean. He recommends periodically checking behind appliances and under sinks to make sure everything is dry. That means actually moving out the stuff that's been sitting under the kitchen sink for the last several years. Be careful when pulling out the refrigerator to check for a leak in the ice maker water line. Avoid running over the water line or crimping a copper line. Rodriguez also suggests replacing rubber supply hoses to appliances with braided hoses, which are made of rubber surrounded by wire mesh. Braided hoses can still spring a leak, but they won't burst.

If you think you have a leak, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Case Study- Mold Growth due to improper water damage remediation

6/8/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Case Study- Mold Growth due to improper water damage remediation Wet Pad that contributed to mold growth

A homeowner in Cambridge, MA had her hot water heater burst. The water ran for several hours before she realized that it burst. The water soaked her finished basement. She called her plumber to replace the hot water heater. The plumber recommended that she hire a remediation company to extract the water & dry out the basement. He gave her the name of a carpet cleaning company to help her, not a restoration professional like SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont.

The carpet company extracted the water and left some drying equipment and left. A few days later they picked up the equipment and left their bill. A few weeks later she noticed a strong musty odor and black spots growing on the bottom of the walls in the basement. This time a friend recommended that she call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont at (617) 864-7378.

A crew was dispatched to the house, assessed the basement using moisture detectors and an infrared camera and informed the homeowner that the black spots are most likely mold and the walls were still wet from the water damage. He also told her that the smell was coming from the wet pad under the carpet. Melvin Torres, the crew chief on site educated the homeowner on the proper way to remediate a  water damage. He explained  the proper steps that should have taken place are:

  • Assess the entire basement to find the extent of the water intrusion.
  • Using a moisture detector or infrared camera , if necessary, determine if the water had wicked up the walls.
  • If the walls were wet, determine the least destructive way of drying the walls (remove baseboard & drill holes or if there is insulation behind the walls cut walls 1’ or 2’ up & remove the insulation up to the area cut)
  • Move and block furniture and contents
  • Remove the pad under the carpet (the pad is non salvageable after a water damage.)
  • Spray an antimicrobial under the pad
  • Determine if the carpet is salvageable. If salvageable, lift carpet and place air movers (fans) under the corners of the carpet
  • Position 1 or 2 dehumidifiers in the area depending on the size of room and area affected
  • Monitor the progress of the drying using moisture detectors and a hygrometer

Avoid having a mold issue, if you have a water damage; call the professionals at SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378.

How to get rid of mice

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard How to get rid of mice Mice Droppings in your home

Mice can be cute and some people – especially children – like to keep one or two as pets. But when mice invade a home uninvited, they are anything but cute!

There’s good reason to evict them as soon as possible. Mice can be dangerous to your health, as they can carry several diseases and transmit them via their urine and feces. Well, not to mention the extensive damage they can do with their sharp teeth.

Being rapid reproducers, their population can grow quickly and soon you will find the tiny animals running here, there and everywhere.

To control a mice infestation, some prefer to just hand the problem off to a pest control professional. But that can be an expensive affair that doesn’t fit into everyone’s budget. Plus, they may use chemical-based products that could introduce toxins into your home.

To show the exit door to these disease-carrying rodents, there are many simple and easy tips that you can try on your own.

Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of mice.

  1. Deprive Them of Food

Mice enter your home in search of food, and they will stay around as long as food is available. Hence, depriving them of food is one logical way to deal with the uninvited guests.

  1. Seal All Openings

Another effective way to control the growth of rodents in your house is by sealing off all the small openings and cracks in your home. This way they will not be able to enter your house.

  1. Relocate them using Humane Mouse Traps

Humane or live mouse traps are one of the best ways to catch roaming mice in your premises. These traps catch and hold live mice, and they are not as inhumane as snap traps and glue traps that kill the mice.

4. Push Them Away with Peppermint Oil

You can use peppermint oil to get rid of mice. Mice are very sensitive to smells, and they find the smell of peppermint oil very overwhelming and offensive.

5. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper works as a great non-poisonous solution to deter pests like mice, squirrels, ants and other bugs. This is because most pests do not like its strong smell.

6. Use Kitty Litter

Mice fear cats because they are their natural predators. The smell of kitty litter is enough to drive the mice away.

7. Get a Pet

If you have a cat, then your work is half done. Cats or other predatory pets can help chase rodents out of your house. In fact, terrier dog breeds are often trained for pest control.

8. Discourage Them with Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus also works as an effective natural mice repellent.

9. Get an Ultrasonic Repellent Machine

Ultrasonic repellent machines are also an effective method to get rid of rodents. These machines send out small beeps that not only annoy but also scare off mice. These beeps cannot be heard by humans.

10. Keep a Clean House

Keeping your house clean will not make it mouse-proof, but a messy house will attract them and permit them to thrive in greater numbers. Hence, a clean house is a small but important step toward your effort to show the rodents the door.

After the mice have been controlled, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you with the clean up. Our specially trained technicians will clean up the hazardous mice droppings.

Leaky Dishwasher

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Leaky Dishwasher Water damage from a malfunctioning Dishwasher

Has your dishwasher stopped draining? Did you accidentally break the sliding rack? Have the buttons just stopped working? You need a repair pro. We asked Michael Pridham of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont and Craig Kimble of We Can Fix That to share their best tips for when to repair an ailing dishwasher, when to replace it and what to do if it begins to leak water.

When to Fix: Common Dishwasher Issues

Typical dishwasher problems involve broken mechanical parts, says Craig of We Can Fix That. Think a broken soap dispenser, dislodged sliding rack wheel, or broken sprayer arm.

When a dishwasher won’t drain, there’s usually something in the drain process that shouldn’t be there like lemon seeds, glass, plastic wrap or even bobby pins. “With a high-end dishwasher, you’ll get an OE overflow code. Often I can disconnect the machine, lean it forward, and drain it for a fix without having to replace any of the control boards,” says Craig.

In general, if you have to fix an issue but the unit is relatively new, it makes sense to fix if repair costs are under half the cost to replace the appliance. A good unit can last you 15-20 years if it’s well-maintained.

When to Replace: Do the Math

Once you start to replace the electronic boards, it gets expensive. On high-end dishwashers (KitchenAid, Samsung, Bosch) if the user control panel and the power control unit go out at the same time, it’s not worth it to repair it. “The parts alone will exceed $600 wholesale,” says Craig.

If a dishwasher is more than 7-10 years old and you’re paying more than half of the original cost in repairs, you should consider buying a new one.

Replacing a door latch can get pricey, says Deondre of Lee Appliance Repair and Installation. “This can run $200-250 for parts and labor,” he says, “And you can easily avoid this repair. If you want to add in dishes, don’t just pull it open. Hit pause and let the automatic lock release. It will save you money!”

Leaking is a big problem around the door or underneath where the motor or pumps assembly are, says Deondre. Costs vary depending on how old the unit is or if the control board is gone. For standard dishwashers repairs range from $100-200. For bigger projects or work on higher-end dishwashers (with more expensive parts) average costs might be $380-450.

How to Avoid Issues

Don’t overload it, says Deondre of Lee Appliance Repair and Installation, and when you first have a problem, look at your model number and do some online research to learn about your machine. There might be an easy DIY fix for your symptoms.

Don’t run a garbage disposal at the same time the dishwasher is running, urges Michael of SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont. The two share the same plumbing, so if they’re going at the same time, you are more apt to kick debris into the dishwasher discharge line and clog it.

A little preventative maintenance goes a long way. Have a pro come every two years, clean out your lines and any calcium deposits, and get you running clean again. If the dishwasher does leak, call the preferred professional, SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378.

How to Keep Carpet Looking New in a Pet-Friendly Home

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning How to Keep Carpet Looking New in a Pet-Friendly Home Carpet Cleaning

A pet-friendly home is a happy home. But sometimes it can also be a challenge to keep carpets and neat with a dog or car around. They may shed, have an accident of some kind, or neglect to watch where they step with dirty paws. Any of these things can be damaging to your carpet if they aren’t properly cleaned or treated at the time these eventualities occur. Having pets shouldn’t mean you have to give up owning beautiful carpet.

You can keep both as long as you follow some of these helpful hints for keeping your carpet looking new in a pet-friendly home.

Early Housebreaking

Cleaning Up the Mess

Routine Vacuuming

Commercial Cleaning

Sometimes you need a professional to come in for a deep cleaning of your carpet. Not only will it get some of those hard to clean spots out, it will revitalize those heavy traffic areas that have picked up more than just pet-related stains. Our shoes and feet can do just as much damage and get a professional crew in there for a full-service session will do wonders for maintaining the look and feel of your carpet. Call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you with your carpet cleaning needs.

 

Hot Water Heater Replacement

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hot Water Heater Replacement Old Hot Water Heater

Water heaters are essential elements of our home. We use them in daily activities such as taking a bath, using the dishwasher and using the washing machine. But because we use them frequently, it’s sometimes easy to take them for granted and forget that they need to be maintained. Failing to do so will result in malfunctions and problems and eventually, replacing your water heater. Taking notice of the first signs of a problem can help you repair your water heater before it becomes worse.

You don’t have to be an expert to spot the first signs of trouble. All you need to have is a keen sense of observation so that your water heater can be repaired. 

Here are three signs that indicate your water heater needs to be repaired.

Hot water has off smell or off color. The first instance that you notice your hot water has an off smell or has a rusty color, that’s something that you need to check out. The smell could be the result of a rusty anode rod in the water heater. There is no need to worry since the anode rod can be replaced that will then eliminate the bad odor. Bacteria growth also causes bad smells. This happens when the hot water has not been used or has been turned off for quite some time or when the thermostat is set at a very low level.

Corroded pipes can also cause an off color in your water. This can be solved by installing a water softener or by replacing the plumbing. If you also see a lot of sediments in the water, it’s time to have the water heater repaired.

Water is not hot enough, too hot, not strong enough or there is none at all. When there is no water, check first that your water heater has power and is working fine. If it is, have it inspected by a plumber. If water is not enough, this could be due to an undersized water heater and is a common situation when a lot more people are using the water heater. This could also be caused by the presence of mineral deposits inside the water heater tank. When water is too hot or not hot enough, you may have to adjust the temperature dial of the water heater. If there is no change in temperature, have the water heater checked and repaired.

Strange noises and leaks. Leaks coming from your water heater could lead to flooding. In the same way, strange noises like pops, bangs, gurgles, and the like are clear indicators that something is wrong with your water heater. This is usually caused by a buildup of sediments inside the tank. A boiling sound, however, could mean the water heater is overheating or that pressure is building up inside the tank. All these have to be addressed immediately to prevent further problems.

It’s important to have your water heater repaired as soon as you see these signs. This will help you save on costs, prevent further damage, and avoid an untimely replacement of your unit.

If your hot water heater malfunctions and creates a water damage, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to assist you with the water damage.

Team SERVPRO at Tour De Cure

5/24/2017 (Permalink)

Community Team SERVPRO at Tour De Cure Team SERVPRO at the Tour De Cure

On Sunday May 21, 2017, Team SERVPRO "Like It Never Happened" had 28 cyclists in the annual Tour De Cure in Topsfield MA. The Tour De Cure is the largest cycling fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association. Team SERVPRO "Like It Never Happened" raised $18,000 at the event, we were the 5th largest company team fundraiser. This is the 5th year Team SERVPRO "Like It Never Happened" has had a group of cyclists in this event. We have gone from 3 riders to the 28 this year. If you would like to join us next year, please contact SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont at (617) 864-7378.

Here are some facts about Diabetes:

29.1 million people in the United States has diabetes

1 out of every 4 people who have diabetes don't know it

The total amount of money between lost wages and medical costs are 245 billion dollars

What you can do to prevent diabetes:
lose weight, eat healthy and become more active

9 Air Conditioning tips to prevent costly breakdowns

5/3/2017 (Permalink)

General 9 Air Conditioning tips to prevent costly breakdowns A/C Duct after cleaning.

It is getting warmer in New England & homeowners will soon be turning on their Air Conditioning units. Appropriate maintenance at the beginning of the cooling season is one of the best ways to prevent an air conditioning breakdown. Prevention is the key to avoiding an air conditioning emergency in the height of summer. Here are nine maintenance tips that can help you avoid a costly air conditioning repair:


1) Energize the crankcase heater


2) Clean outside coils twice per year


3) Inspect the compressor motor starter


4) Check/ replace moisture filters


5) Check refrigerant charge


6) Check for leaks


7) Clean evaporators


8) Protect electrical equipment


9) Familiarize yourself with normal operating conditions of the system


For all your duct cleaning needs please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

Angie's list Super Service Award

5/3/2017 (Permalink)

General Angie's list Super Service Award SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont wins Super Service Award

SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont Earns Esteemed Angie’s List Super Service Award


Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service


SERVPRO Cambridge/Belmont has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014.


 “Only about 5 percent of the damage restoration companies in New England have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s  a really high standard.”


Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.


Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.


Angie's List helps facilitate happy transactions between nearly 3 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly-rated service providers in 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of authentic reviews of local service, Angie's List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.


Call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 for your restoration needs.

Commercial Water Damage

5/2/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Water Damage Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Restoring Your Cambridge Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event


Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges 


Body:


Flooding and water damage events at City of Cambridge commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.


Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges


Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.


About SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont


SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a 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.


 

Mold Remediation

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Remediation In Belmont, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

Does Your Town of Belmont Home Have A Mold Problem?


In Belmont, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.


Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:



  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.

  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.

  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.

  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.

  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.


 


If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.


If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (617)489-7378

Duct cleaning

4/13/2017 (Permalink)

General Duct cleaning Duct cleaning before & after

Professional duct cleaning services use specialized blowers, vacuums, and brushes to clean out the supply, intake, and return ducts throughout your home. Duct cleaning should also involve a thorough cleaning of the air handler, registers, grilles, fans, motors, housings, and coils of the HVAC system.The National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends getting your air ducts cleaned every three to five years.


5 benefits of having your ducts cleaned are it creates a cleaner living environment, reduces allergens and irritants, helps everyone breathe easier and removes unpleasant smells and odors and improves air flow efficiency.


Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the home owner. Some of the things that may lead a home owner to consider more frequent cleaning include:
-  Smokers in the household
-  Pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander
-  Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
-  Residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system
-  After home renovations or remodeling
-  Prior to occupancy of a new home.


Please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont to assist you with your duct cleaning needs (617) 864-7378

Declutter your Basement

4/13/2017 (Permalink)

General Declutter your Basement Let us clean up your clutter

We know that cleaning out the junk in your basement can feel overwhelming. It is tough to know where to start. We can help you make the process easy and stress free. Call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 to help organize, sort and remove unwanted items in your basement.

SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont can handle all of your basement cleaning services. Whether your basement looks and feels like  storage unit for all your junk from over the years, or you are doing some cleaning and clearing out to make room to finish your basement.

SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont will

  • Remove all the junk from your basement
  • Clean everything, and leave no junk behind
  • Rearrange items in your garage (at your request)
  • Create as much possible space for your basement
  • Dispose of all your basement junk responsibly
  • Recycle and donate whatever we can

Spring Allergy Season

4/13/2017 (Permalink)

General Spring Allergy Season Spring Allergies are nothing to sneeze at

Spring is a welcome reprieve from the long New England winters — that is, unless you suffer from spring allergies. You don’t, however, have to suffer inside your home.

Here are 8 solutions to alleviate spring allergies:

  1. Change air filters every 30 days during peak usage months.
  2. Clean hard and carpeted floor surfaces often and shake out or vacuum door mats.
  3. Check the seals in all windows and doors, and re-seal where necessary
  4. Use a humidifier  to balance humidity levels.
  5. Install a whole-house air cleaner.
  6. Have your air ducts cleaned.
  7. Resist the urge to open doors and windows even on the nicest days!
  8. Have your home checked by an HVAC technician annually.

Don’t suffer from Spring Allergies! Contact SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 for assistance!

Spring Cleaning can help with allergies

4/13/2017 (Permalink)

General Spring Cleaning can help with allergies Spring Allergies are nothing to sneeze at

Spring is a welcome reprieve from the long New England winters — that is, unless you suffer from spring allergies. You don’t, however, have to suffer inside your home.


Here are 8 solutions to alleviate spring allergies:



  1. Change air filters every 30 days during peak usage months.

  2. Clean hard and carpeted floor surfaces often and shake out or vacuum door mats.

  3. Check the seals in all windows and doors, and re-seal where necessary

  4. Use a humidifier  to balance humidity levels.

  5. Install a whole-house air cleaner.

  6. Have your air ducts cleaned.

  7. Resist the urge to open doors and windows even on the nicest days!

  8. Have your home checked by an HVAC technician annually.


Don’t suffer from Spring Allergies! Contact SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378 for assistance!

Flooded Basements

4/11/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flooded Basements SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Cambridge

City of Cambridge 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) 864-7378


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.


 


 

Fire Damage

3/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Recent fire in Belmont

City of cambridge Smoke and Soot Cleanup


Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  


Smoke and soot facts:



  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.

  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.

  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.


Different Types of Smoke


There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:


Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber



  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.


Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood



  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.


Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire



  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 


Our Fire Damage Restoration Services


Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.


Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (617) 864-7378

Angie's list Super Service Award 2014

3/20/2015 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont Earns Esteemed 2014 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

SERVPRO Cambridge/Belmont has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014.

 “Only about 5 percent of the damage restoration companies in New England have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s  a really high standard.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

Angie's List helps facilitate happy transactions between nearly 3 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly-rated service providers in 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of authentic reviews of local service, Angie's List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

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