Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

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

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

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

How Are Flash Floods Defined?

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

What Are the Levels of Warning Present for Flash Flooding?

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

How Can I Increase My Safety During a Flash Flood?

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

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

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

Are you Ready for Fall?

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

skyline of Boston lined by autumn trees Fall in Boston
  1. Get Your HVAC Serviced

Your AC has been faithfully chugging along all summer. Now it’s time to give it a rest. Before you tuck it away for the winter, be sure to clean the coils. You can find YouTube videos showing how to do this safely.

If you’re done using the AC for the year, cover the outdoor unit to keep debris and ice from damaging your system. Then move indoors and switch your thermostat from cooling to heating. Change the filter, too. You should also make sure all indoor vents are uncovered, and maybe clean your own air ducts while you’re at it.

  1. Clean the Gutters

Clogged gutters will channel water down the side of your home where it eventually damages the foundation and can flood your basement. So get a ladder and pull debris out of the gutters by hand. If you have a one-story house, you can use this leaf-blower attachment to blast the stuff. Still too much work? Hire a gutter cleaning company — they’re worth it.

  1. Drain and Store Your Lawn Equipment

Over time, unused fuel goes through chemical changes that create deposits and destroy your lawn equipment. So drain the tanks of your lawn mower, leaf blower, and weed eater before storing them. Fall is also an excellent time to get your lawn mower blades sharpened so they’ll be ready for next spring.

  1. Turn Off and Drain Outdoor Faucets and Sprinklers

Outdoor hoses and pipes will burst if they’re full of water when the temperatures plunge below freezing. While replacing a garden hose isn’t that difficult, it’s incredibly expensive to dig up your lawn’s sprinkler system to deal with burst pipes. So, disconnect your outdoor hoses and turn off the outdoor water supply. Open outdoor faucets and run your sprinkler system to drain any remaining water. Then take these steps to prevent frozen pipes.

  1. Inspect and Clean Your Chimney

Nothing is charming about filling your home with soot, smoke, and carbon monoxide because your chimney isn’t working correctly. Even gas fireplaces need an inspection to ensure the pipe is free of cracks that can allow smoke to enter your home. This job is best left to pros. The cost runs around $100-200.

  1. Get Your Snow Blower Ready

By the time winter arrives, it’s often too late to find snow gear. Stock up on such things in autumn when they’re plentiful and lower-priced. Even if you think you’ve got enough left from last year, or that your snow blower or shovel are in good shape, take a few moments to check. You don’t want to get caught out in the cold finding out you’re wrong.

Don’t Delay

As with most home maintenance tasks, preparing your home for fall isn’t tricky, just time-consuming. Putting it off causes problems that can wind up costing you an enormous amount of money, though, so set aside time on the next couple of weekends to get these jobs done.

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

Fall Checklist

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

autumn leaves on the ground Fall Season checklist

Electrical Cords and Outlets

Repair or replace any loose or frayed wires on all electrical devices. Follow the path of cords; make sure there are no cords are under rugs or across doorways. Rethink extension cords; consider adding electrical outlets where you currently rely on extension cords.

Feel all outlets and plugs to see if any are warm; if so, have an electrician check them.  Do not overload any one outlet. Be certain that you have no more than one high-wattage appliance plugged into a single outlet.

Inspect water heaters annually.

The temperature should be set at no higher than 120 degrees to prevent burns. Never leave children alone near a water heater, and keep combustible and flammable materials well away from it.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors generously.

These should be on each floor of the house, covering all sleeping areas.  

Test alarms monthly and replace batteries bi-annually or sooner if alarm chirps

Fire Extinguishers

Place extinguishers strategically. Keep one in the kitchen and one on every floor. And learn how to use them. Replace extinguishers when necessary.

Follow the schedule suggested by the manufacturer, and always replace an extinguisher that appears damaged.

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

Common Places for Mold Growth

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

mold growth on drywall Carpeting, Furniture, Closets, Clothes, HVAC Systems, Drywall, Ceiling, and Flooring are common places for mold growth

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 duct work 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.

Be careful when lifting objects

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Proper lifting will reduce back injuries

It can be very tempting and almost feel more natural to bend from your back to lift an object off of the ground. However, lifting with your back can be extremely harmful to your body. The best way to lift heavy objects is by bending from the knees and using your leg muscles to lift.

Helpful tips: Before you lift, make sure there is a clear path to where you are going to move the object to. It is important to position your body close to the object you are trying to pick up with your feet shoulder-length apart on a stable surface. Next, it is crucial to get a good grip on the object you are trying to lift. When ready, begin to stand up and use the muscles from your legs to lift the object. Be sure not to twist from side to side or move too fast. Always try to keep the object as close to your body as possible to help prevent an injury while lifting.

Know your limit: If the object is too heavy to lift on your own, use lift assist equipment such as a dolly or forklift, or ask a friend for help lifting the object.

Did you know? According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent of all workplace injuries and illnesses are made up of back injuries. This means that over one million work-related back injuries are reported each year. These back injuries may include strains, sprains, and herniated disks, which may be prevented by practicing safe lifting habits. The majority of cases were caused by the worker lifting and twisting from side to side at the same time. If the worker had practiced safe lifting habits, their injury may have been prevented.

How employers can help? Employers can hold a safety meeting to train their employees how to lift properly. Employees can also take notice and offer help to a coworker in need of assistance.

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

Ladder Safety Tips

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Worker using a ladder correctly

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

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

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

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

Always maintain 3-points of contact at all times when climbing

 Do not carry any materials up or down a ladder

 Wear a tool belt

 Use a hand line

Face the ladder when ascending or descending

Never overreach

 Work only within an arm’s reach of the ladder

 Keep your belt buckle between the sides rails of the ladder at all times

Only allow one person to climb the ladder at a time

Extension Ladders:

Position the ladder at the proper pitch (1/4 rule)

Extend the side rails at least 36 inches or 3 rungs above

Secure the top of the ladder to help prevent shifting

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

10 New Year's Resolutions

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Fireworks celebrating New Years in Paris
  1. Start a Meditation Practice.

There are scientific studies that show the many benefits of meditating. To name just a few, meditating helps to improve your mood, it reduces stress, it lessens anxiety, and it even increases your brain’s grey matter — which is involved in muscle control, sensory perception, decision making, and self-control. In addition, once you get the hang of it, meditating is easy to do.

  1. Learn Something New Each Day.

Set the resolution to learn something new every day in order to have a better understanding of the world and how it works. Fortunately, the internet makes it incredibly easy to learn new things.

  1. Pick Up a Hobby.

Did you know that having a hobby is good for you? Hobbies can lower your stress levels, boost your brain power, improve your ability to focus, and more. Therefore, in 2020, start a new hobby.

  1. Play More.

Play is an important source of relaxation and stimulation for adults. In addition, it can make you more creative and productive. Bring more play into your life by making it a New Year’s resolution.

In case it’s been so long since you allowed yourself to play that you’ve forgotten how, here are 10 Ways to Play More and Have More Fun as an Adult.

  1. Eat Fewer Calories.

There are many reasons why most of us should set a resolution of eating fewer calories. The most obvious reason is to lose weight. After all, carrying excess weight puts us at a greater risk of a whole range of serious health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

  1. Write a Business Plan.

Make 2020 the year you stop thinking about starting a business and you start taking action –it’s OK if it’s a small business on the side. The first step to take is to write a business plan. Once you get your ideas down on paper, you’ll be that much more motivated to turn those ideas into reality.

  1. Exercise More.

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do: join a sports team; get a pedometer and take at least 10,000 steps a day; get up every 20 minutes and stretch; or join a dance class. Just move! Living a sedentary life slows you down, it makes it more likely that you’ll be overweight, and it puts you at a higher risk of depression.

  1. Read More Books.

I’ll definitely be reading lots of books in 2018, and I encourage you to do the same. If you need some convincing on this one, here are 13 Ways Reading Will Improve Your Life. This year, I’m reading the 12 most important books of Russian literature.

  1. Be More Grateful.

If you haven’t climbed aboard the gratitude bandwagon yet, this is the year to do it. There are studies that show that gratitude can make you 25% happier. Being grateful will also help you to overcome adversity, improve the quality of your sleep, and allow you to get along better with others. For next year, resolve to be more grateful. Here are some gratitude exercises to get you started.

  1. Stop Procrastinating.

If you didn’t achieve your goals this year, procrastination was the likely culprit. Make 2018 the year you stop procrastinating and start getting things done. This will help you to ensure that you won’t be sitting there at the end of next year wondering why you never got around to working on your goals.

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

November to do's around the home

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

Make sure the pathways are well lit for your family's safety

 1.   Deep Clean Your Home

Now is the time to clean your home for winter festivities. Whether you have a family gathering in the works or you want to make sure things are perfectly cozy for winter, tackle some of those cleaning tasks that aren’t on your regular cleaning rotation. Carpet and upholstery cleaning might be one of those things on your deep cleaning to-do lists. It’s the perfect time to give them a refresh.

 2.   Make Kitchen & Bathroom Updates

While it might be too late to start a complete remodel before your holiday company arrives, you can certainly make some upgrades to improve your kitchen and bathrooms. A fresh coat of paint or a new sink can be just what the room needs. A new backsplash is also something you might be able to DIY.

 3.  Inspect Outdoor Stairs

Winter will bring snow and ice that can make it dangerous to walk on your outdoor stairs and pathways. Before the weather changes dramatically, check your outdoor steps for cracks and uneven areas. Get them repaired now. You’ll also want to install a handrail if you don’t have one already. This is a safety feature that’s a must on any outdoor stairs.

 4.   Replace Outdoor Light Fixtures

Similarly, it’s also a good time to replace any outdoor light fixtures that may be out or in need of repair. Winter brings less daylight along with colder weather, making it harder to see if there’s ice on your walkway. Having efficient outdoor lighting can help avoid an accident. Outdoor flood lights may not be as fashionable but can help illuminate entryways, so you can see. The average cost of floodlights is around $400 to $500.

 5.   Repair Plumbing

With Thanksgiving coming up quickly, it’s likely any plumbing issues you have will be magnified. A semi-clogged pipe can turn into a big issue if you have visitors over or plenty of dishes to be done. Get the fix you need now, before it’s too late.

 6.   Install Weather Stripping

Make sure your home is comfortable for the winter weather. Weather stripping can prevent cold air from entering the home. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be replaced every year, but aging weather stripping should be replaced. Depending on the amount you need to be done, you might be able to DIY.

 7.   Install Fire Protection

The holiday season is a prime time for house fires. From dried trees to burnt turkey and holiday candles, there are plenty of hazards present in your home. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, with the day before in second place. And, 21% of holiday decoration fires started in the kitchen.

 If you need assistance, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 864-7378

The correct way to lift a heavy object

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Back pain can occur if you lift a heavy object incorrectly

It can be very tempting and almost feel more natural to bend from your back to lift an object off of the ground. However, lifting with your back can be extremely harmful to your body. The best way to lift heavy objects is by bending from the knees and using your leg muscles to lift.

Helpful tips: Before you lift, make sure there is a clear path to where you are going to move the object to. It is important to position your body close to the object you are trying to pick up with your feet shoulder-length apart on a stable surface. Next, it is crucial to get a good grip on the object you are trying to lift. When ready, begin to stand up and use the muscles from your legs to lift the object. Be sure not to twist from side to side or move too fast. Always try to keep the object as close to your body as possible to help prevent an injury while lifting.

Know your limit. If the object is too heavy to lift on your own, use lift assist equipment such as a dolly or forklift, or ask a friend for help lifting the object. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent of all workplace injuries and illnesses are made up of back injuries. This means that over one million work-related back injuries are reported each year. These back injuries may include strains, sprains, and herniated disks, which may be prevented by practicing safe lifting habits. The majority of cases were caused by the worker lifting and twisting from side to side at the same time. If the worker had practiced safe lifting habits, their injury may have been prevented.

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

School bus safety

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Children's safety is vital, never pass a school bus when children are getting on or off the bus.

School buses are picking up passengers, kids are hurrying toward school, and parents are rushing to drop off kids before continuing on to their places of employment or other daily schedules. School is back in session, and we all need to share the roads.

Most children lose their lives in bus-related accidents when they are walking to or from the school bus. They are either struck by the bus itself, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus.

Drivers have a responsibility to follow the laws of the road and to be extra aware when driving through school zones and approaching school buses. It’s important to be extra alert around young pedestrians as they may not remember to look both ways before crossing the street.

The most important rule of thumb is to of course slow down when traveling in school zones or behind school buses. However, there are many other tips and rules to follow when it comes to sharing the roads with school buses and young pedestrians. Please share the following rules with your drivers:

  • Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the bus when driving behind a bus. Be prepared to stop at any time when the bus’s lights begin to flash.
  • When a bus is stopped with its lights flashing, be sure to stop and leave ample space (a minimum of 10 feet) between the bus and your vehicle.
  • Never pass a bus loading or unloading students.
  • Adhere to school zone speed limits.
  • Be extra cautious while approaching crosswalks, school zones, and neighborhoods, and stop for children crossing the street.

If you have water or fire damage, please call SERVPRO of Cambridge/Belmont (617) 489-7378

Important Ladder Safety Tips

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

What not to do with a ladder

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

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

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

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

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

Extension Ladders:

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

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

50 memorable quotes

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Leonardo Da Vinci was way ahead of his time
  1. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible”! —Audrey Hepburn
  2. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. —Maya Angelou
  3. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. —Henry Ford
  4. Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. —Vince Lombardi
  5. Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. —Charles Swindoll
  6. If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough. —Oprah Winfrey
  7. Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. —Eleanor Roosevelt
  8. I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. —Jimmy Dean
  9. Believe you can and you’re halfway there. —Theodore Roosevelt
  10. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
  11. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. —Les Brown
  12. Do or do not. There is no try. —Yoda
  13. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. —Napoleon Hill
  14. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover. —Mark Twain
  15. I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. —Michael Jordan
  16. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. —Albert Einstein
  17. I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. —Stephen Covey
  18. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. —Henry Ford
  19. The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. —Alice Walker
  20. The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. —Amelia Earhart
  21. It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. —Aristotle Onassis
  22. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. —Robert Louis Stevenson
  23. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. —Steve Jobs
  24. Change your thoughts and you change your world. —Norman Vincent Peale
  25. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. —Ayn Rand
  26. If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. —Vincent Van Gogh
  27. Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. —Farrah Gray
  28. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. —Dalai Lama
  29. You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. —Maya Angelou
  30. I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear. —Rosa Parks
  31. I would rather die of passion than of boredom. —Vincent van Gogh
  32. A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. —Unknown
  33. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.——Albert Einstein
  34. What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. —Bob Dylan
  35. I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. —Leonardo da Vinci
  36. If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. —Booker T. Washington
  37. Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. —Jamie Paolinetti
  38. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on. —Sheryl Sandberg
  39. Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. —Ancient Indian Proverb
  40. When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. —Helen Keller
  41. Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see. —Confucius
  42. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. —Anne Frank
  43. When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. —John Lennon
  44. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  45. We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. —Ronald Reagan
  46. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. —George Addair
  47. We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. —Plato
  48. Nothing will work unless you do. —Maya Angelou
  49. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” —Mother Teresa
  50. What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. —Plutarch

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

Get your home ready for the fall season

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

Accumulation of leaves and debris found in a gutter
  1. Get Your HVAC Serviced

Your AC has been faithfully chugging along all summer. Now it’s time to give it a rest. Before you tuck it away for the winter, be sure to clean the coils. You can find YouTube videos showing how to do this safely.

If you’re done using the AC for the year, cover the outdoor unit to keep debris and ice from damaging your system. Then move indoors and switch your thermostat from cooling to heating. Change the filter, too. You should also make sure all indoor vents are uncovered, and maybe clean your own air ducts while you’re at it.

  1. Clean the Gutters

Clogged gutters will channel water down the side of your home where it eventually damages the foundation and can flood your basement. So get a ladder and pull debris out of the gutters by hand. If you have a one-story house, you can use this leaf-blower attachment to blast the stuff. Still too much work? Hire a gutter cleaning company — they’re worth it.

  1. Drain and Store Your Lawn Equipment

Over time, unused fuel goes through chemical changes that create deposits and destroy your lawn equipment. So drain the tanks of your lawn mower, leaf blower, and weed eater before storing them. Fall is also an excellent time to get your lawn mower blades sharpened so they’ll be ready for next spring.

  1. Turn Off and Drain Outdoor Faucets and Sprinklers

Outdoor hoses and pipes will burst if they’re full of water when the temperatures plunge below freezing. While replacing a garden hose isn’t that difficult, it’s incredibly expensive to dig up your lawn’s sprinkler system to deal with burst pipes. So, disconnect your outdoor hoses and turn off the outdoor water supply. Open outdoor faucets and run your sprinkler system to drain any remaining water. Then take these steps to prevent frozen pipes.

  1. Inspect and Clean Your Chimney

Nothing is charming about filling your home with soot, smoke, and carbon monoxide because your chimney isn’t working correctly. Even gas fireplaces need an inspection to ensure the pipe is free of cracks that can allow smoke to enter your home. This job is best left to pros. The cost runs around $100-200.

  1. Get Your Snow Blower Ready

By the time winter arrives, it’s often too late to find snow gear. Stock up on such things in autumn when they’re plentiful and lower-priced. Even if you think you’ve got enough left from last year, or that your snow blower or shovel are in good shape, take a few moments to check. You don’t want to get caught out in the cold finding out you’re wrong.

Don’t Delay

As with most home maintenance tasks, preparing your home for fall isn’t tricky, just time-consuming. Putting it off causes problems that can wind up costing you an enormous amount of money, though, so set aside time on the next couple of weekends to get these jobs done.

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

September home to do list

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

Do not do this!

Electrical Cords and Outlets

Repair or replace any loose or frayed wires on all electrical devices. Follow the path of cords; make sure there are no cords are under rugs or across doorways. Rethink extension cords; consider adding electrical outlets where you currently rely on extension cords.

Feel all outlets and plugs to see if any are warm; if so, have an electrician check them.  Do not overload any one outlet. Be certain that you have no more than one high-wattage appliance plugged into a single outlet.

Inspect water heaters annually.

The temperature should be set at no higher than 120 degrees to prevent burns. Never leave children alone near a water heater, and keep combustible and flammable materials well away from it.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors generously.

These should be on each floor of the house, covering all sleeping areas.  

Test alarms monthly and replace batteries bi-annually or sooner if alarm chirps

Fire Extinguishers

Place extinguishers strategically. Keep one in the kitchen and one on every floor. And learn how to use them. Replace extinguishers when necessary.

Follow the schedule suggested by the manufacturer, and always replace an extinguisher that appears damaged.

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

How to Remove an Ice Dam

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

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)

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 you ever have 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)

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)

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)

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.”