Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

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.”