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Your Guide to Roof Repair After Hail and Heavy Winds Damage Your Shingles

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Your Guide to Roof Repair After Hail and Heavy Winds Damage Your Shingles Water damage on ceiling in Financial District, MA

Everyone loves a good end-of-summer storm, but when the nights grow cooler and the winds grow stronger, those nice summer storms turn into damaging tempests. Hail, heavy winds and torrential rains may be exciting to watch from within, but they're harmful to a home's structure. If your roof was recently the victim of hail and wind damage, you may be able to get away with a small roof repair—or you may be forced to invest in roof replacement. A quality inspection can give you an indication of which you will need:

  • Have your roof tested to determine its existing condition and life expectancy.
  • Have a moisture survey of your roof done.
  • Let a professional roofer assess the extent of the damage—is it just a patch or it is the entire roof?
  • Request a weather impact condition report to see if your roof was even subject to the hail.

When searching for a roofing company, make sure that it offers each of the above services.

A Quality Inspection Is Key

Roof repair goes beyond patching a damaged area and calling it a day. If you want to ensure that your roof lasts for years into the future, and if you want to preserve the structural integrity of your home, you need to make sure that the company you hire actually fixes the issue and doesn't just cover it.

Each of the tests listed above is performed to measure the reliability of your roof's remaining materials. The last thing you want to do is pay thousands of dollars to have your roof re-shingled only to discover that the core of the roof damage lies along the deck. If that were to happen, you would be forced to remove the shingles you paid thousands of dollars to have installed, rip up the deck, reinstall a new deck and reinstall the shingles—a process which would cost you an additional good sum of money.

If your home has extensive roof damage because of hail and heavy winds, request a quality inspection before investing in roof repair. Talk to your Financial District, MA, storm damage restoration team about the importance of a quality inspection.

3 Steps To Take Before Mold Remediation Specialists Arrive

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 3 Steps To Take Before Mold Remediation Specialists Arrive Mold damage behind walls in a Boston South, MA home

When your home floods, the subsequent water damage can lead to black mold growth if not remedied fairly quickly. If you notice that mold has already started to grow, the remediation specialists in Boston South, MA, will need to fix not only the water damage but also the mold problem. Before they arrive for water and mold cleanup, however, there are three steps you need to take.

1. Turn Water Off

One thing your situation does not need is more water flow to the area. Unless you know specifically where the leak is coming from, you should just turn the water off for that whole section of your home. You may not be able to undo the damage that has already occurred, but you can prevent further damage by cutting water off at the source.

2. Close Doors and Windows

The first instinct of many homeowners when they have a moisture problem is to open up all the windows and doors and get air flow going through the house. If you have a black mold problem, however, this increased air flow just spreads the problem. You may start with mold in one room but it may grow into the hallway and surrounding areas.

3. Turn Off HVAC System

Likewise, your HVAC system can also contribute to the distribution of mold spores throughout the house. When mold is actually growing in a particular area, the concentration of spores in the air is higher. You want to keep that mold concentration contained as much as possible. Shut air intake vents and turn the system off to prevent an epidemic of mold growth through your entire home.

Mold cleanup is generally a job for the professionals, but you can make their job easier by keeping the black mold from spreading into other areas of your home. By shutting off the air flow and the water supply, you can help keep the problem contained.

Take Steps to Prevent Mold Growth

8/30/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Take Steps to Prevent Mold Growth SERVPRO of Boston Downtown / Back Bay / South Boston cleaning a mold damage in a home.

Intrusion of water into your building can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can occur due to storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. 

If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat.  

If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, it is important to be alert for: 

  • The presence of visible mold. 
  • Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present. 
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth. 
  • Excessive humidity.  

To control mold growth in your business, I offer you the following tips: 

  • Repair leaky plumbing and leaks in the foundation of your building 
  • Reduce moisture with increased surface temperatures or reduced humidity levels in the air. To increase surface temperatures, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce humidity, repair leaks, increase ventilation if outside air is cold and dry or use a dehumidifier. 
  • Keep heating, ventilation and air conditioning drip pans clean, flowing properly and unobstructed 
  • Maintain indoor humidity below 50 percent 
  • Perform regular inspections and maintenance on buildings and heating and air conditioning equipment 
  • Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 1-2 days 
  • Provide adequate drainage around the foundation of your building. Regularly maintain roof gutters, and ensure that water does not collect near the foundation 
  • Insulate windows, walls, pipes, roofs, exterior, floors and other cold surfaces to reduce condensation 

If you are sure or suspect that there is mold in your building, call SERVPRO of Boston Downtown / Back Bay / South Boston immediately at 617.304.2318. The longer you wait to call, the mold growth with continue to spread, resulting in a greater chance of unrecoverable property. SERVPRO professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of mold damage. 

Hidden Secondary Damage in the Basement of this Boston Home

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Hidden Secondary Damage in the Basement of this Boston Home The broken pipe because of a fire.

Sometimes when responding to a fire loss, the fire often causes secondary damage to the property's mechanical systems. This PEX piping burst as a result of a basement fire sending water spraying directly onto the underside of the hardwood floors above.

Broken Pipe from Fire Damage

Upon initial inspection, the floors upstairs were all showing signs of cupping and not much in the way of water as the fire was extinguished in the basement. It is crucial that a restoration company be thorough in our inspections to ensure we address all damages both visible as well hidden issues that often go undetected. 

Also, note that several electrical wires were damaged leaving the home disabled electrically. To get around this problem we installed a separate power panel to provide power for us to begin mitigation and drying.

Restoring Your Home After Water Damage

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

When a home or business is invaded by water, whether it is flooding or an overflow, early mitigation is essential. Correct water cleanup will involve several steps to ensure the property is restored to the condition it was before the flood damage. The process involves drying and decontaminating the home or business as well as the contents. Sometimes it is not possible for everything to be saved. Some items may have to be disposed of due to the water damage.

Evaluate the Damage

Evaluating flood damage is important to ensure that all losses are realized. It will be necessary to contact the insurance company, and the damage will need to be documented. There are areas of the home where water can be hiding that one might not realize. It is not uncommon for water to seep into HVAC systems, behind walls and baseboards, and into electrical outlets. Water will spread to dry areas, and a watermark is not always visible.

Determining the extent of the damage is important for water mitigation. This aids in deciding the method of drying and decontaminating the home or business. What are the types of damage?

  • Class One – Water is only in a small area and only a small amount has been absorbed by the contents or floors in the building.
  • Class Two – Only a room or two has water damage.
  • Class Three – The entire building has sustained flood damage.
  • Class Four – The water in the home or water in a business includes “deep pockets of saturation” and will require special drying methods for restoration. 

Visit for more information on water damage.

Why Should You Remove Damaged Items

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Often everything cannot be saved during flood damage. It will be necessary to remove everything that is damaged beyond repair such as sheet rock, papers, furniture, electronics, and other items. Sometimes carpet can be dried and disinfected, but often it will need to be replaced.

What Methods are Used for Drying?

Restoration will include several methods depending on the classification of the water damage. It is extremely important not to wait too long to begin water damage restoration. Mold can begin to form quickly. When water in the home or water in a business needs to be removed from carpets, a wet vac is handy. They can be used for removing surface water. However, they will not keep water from seeping up walls or into sub-floors.

It may be necessary to use a pump during water cleanup. The water is generally pumped from the home or business and stored for disposal. A dehumidifier is also used to reduce the humidity levels in the building. This will prevent the growth of mildew and mold.

Sometimes the water damage is so extensive that it is necessary to contact a restoration company. Water mitigation will reduce the possibility of additional damage. Air scrubbers and air movers may be necessary to help the drying process. Moisture meters can be used during cleanup when there has been water in the home or water in a business. They aid in locating moisture than cannot be seen. Water mitigation includes utilizing more sophisticated means of detecting moisture. This helps to prevent objects that were not initially damaged by water from being ruined as a result of moisture. Expensive or antique furniture and wood floors can warp when exposed to moisture for a period of time.

A thermo-hygrometer is another device similar to a moisture meter although it can perform another testing as well. It can reduce the time needed to find moisture in an area. Using a thermo-hygrometer during water cleanup in areas such as crawl spaces can help by detecting excess moisture. This moisture could cause damage to the structure of a building.

The most important thing to remember when flood damage is experienced is to act quickly to prevent further damage to the property. Whether water in the home or water in a business is only a few inches or several feet, it is vital to ensure that everything is free of moisture.

Fire Rebuild: Three Reasons To Hire a Mitigation Company

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Rebuild: Three Reasons To Hire a Mitigation Company Fire break out in large building in Financial District, MA

If you recently experienced fire damage at your business in Financial District, MA, you may be wondering what approach to take to rebuild your damaged building. As it turns out, hiring a fire mitigation company is usually your best bet to get the restoration taken care of as quickly and efficiently as possible, provided your insurance adjuster permits it. Read on to discover three reasons why it makes sense to hire a mitigation company to rebuild your commercial property.

1. They're an Excellent Emergency Contact

Your local fire restoration company is one of the best sources of emergency help for fire destruction. Most companies are staffed 24 hours a day and are experienced in handling questions about mitigation needs and damage, as well as dispatching trained staff to the site of the fire.

2. They Know Fire Damage

If anyone knows and understands how to fix fire damaged buildings, it is the professionals at a mitigation service. They have experience handling all kinds of structural damage, from small areas to large, and will not be intimidated by a big job. If you want to restore your property to near its original state, they will be your go-to technicians.

3. One-Stop Shops Can Handle More

Do you have water damage from the fire? Has mold begun to grow from the water? These are all issues that most mitigation companies are able to handle with relative ease. Utilizing the services of such a company, particularly one with extensive commercial damage experience, allows you to restore your building more thoroughly and in less time.

Now that you understand how a company that handles fire mitigation can also handle the rebuild, use this new knowledge to find the best company in the Financial District, MA, area to handle all of your fire damage needs. Before you know it, your business will be back up and running, and your daily routine will be normalized once more.

What To Do When Your Business Loses Power

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What To Do When Your Business Loses Power Wall and floor damage after a storm in a South Boston, MA home

Storm season in South Boston, MA, can cause unplanned interruptions in your utility service. When power lines are down, you need a way to continue your business without losing important information. A power outage doesn't have to bring your operations to a halt. Here are three ways you can continue working even if you are temporarily without your normal power or internet sources.

1. Seek Alternate Locations

One convenient thing about the internet is that you can access it from almost anywhere. If you know your business is going to be without power for a few hours, use some creative restructuring to get work done. Allow employees to work from home until power is restored in your building. Take a working lunch to a restaurant with a strong Wi-Fi signal. There are many places where you can work comfortably while technicians are repairing power lines and restoration experts are fixing anything wrong with the building.

2. Use Backup Power

If you are able to stay in the building to work, a backup power source can help you do so. A portable generator or battery backup can get you through a temporary power outage. Use an uninterrupted power supply to avoid losing data on an unsaved document during a sudden outage.

3. Follow Internet Tips

If you have a data plan on your phone, you can use your plan as Wi-Fi by turning on the personal hotspot. This can help you finish what you have started if you experience a momentary lapse of service in your building. If power is limited, make sure that you only using the essential services you need. You may be tempted to log on to check social media or play games while you are waiting on the power to come back, but this can drain the small reserves you have quickly. Conserve energy by only using what you need until you have full service again.

A power outage can be frustrating, but it doesn't have to be devastating. Having a backup plan can save data and allow your business to continue functioning.

Insured: How To Know You Are Covered in a Flood

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Insured: How To Know You Are Covered in a Flood Water flooding in a Boston, MA prison

Your homeowners' policy is likely designed to take care of accidents that were unable to be foreseen. While it can secure against most of the things that can go wrong with your home in Boston, MA, you may need additional insurance for certain issues. Sometimes your basement flood can be covered, and sometimes it cannot.

What Isn't Covered?

There are several things your homeowners' policy probably doesn't insure:

  • Flood damage
  • Issues resulting from negligence or improper maintenance
  • Backup of municipal sewer lines
  • Repair of the flood's source

You may have to purchase additional insurance coverage for some of these issues. The cost of some of the repairs, however, such as repairs done by restoration professionals for problems caused by poor maintenance, will probably have to be paid out of pocket.

What Is Covered?

If the accident that causes the damage is sudden and unavoidable, such as a water heater that breaks and causes a basement flood, your homeowners' policy will probably protect you. If your floor or a wall needs to be replaced, your dwelling insurance can take care of it. If items are ruined in the flood, the personal property clause in the policy can help you pay for their replacement after the deductible is met.

What Additional Protection Is Needed?

If you experience frequent flooding in Boston, MA, it is a good idea to purchase flood insurance. Water backup coverage can help you when your basement is flooded by a backed-up sewer line or a clogged pipe outside your home. Talk to your insurance agent about other options that may be helpful for you to have to protect your home.

If a sudden accident causes a basement flood, a lot of the damage is probably insured by your homeowners' policy. Some special circumstances might require further coverage, though. It is important to make sure you understand your policy and have the right one in place before a problem occurs.

Properly Maintain an Emergency Sump Pump

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Properly Maintain an Emergency Sump Pump Properly maintain your sump pump to ensure back up after a flood in the Boston area

If you live in an area of Boston, MA, where heavy rains and flooding are likely, you should become familiar with the value of maintaining flood equipment, such as a backup sump pump. This appliance protects homes with poor drainage, foundation weaknesses, and aging basement walls.

Prepare for Action

When your emergency sump pump is in top condition, it may be able to remove two feet of water at a time from your basement. Keep it ready for action with the following maintenance.

Quarterly Maintenance

• Rinse pump inlet screen and remove dust or debris.
• Visually inspect power cord and power connection.
• Run water through to make sure the float rises, and the pump turns on.

Annual Maintenance

• Schedule professional inspections and maintenance for the sump.
• Read your owner's manual for DIY maintenance, such as greasing pump bearings.
• Remove the pump to thoroughly inspect and clean it. Make repairs as necessary.
• Clean out the rest of the equipment.
• Reassemble the machine.

Protect Your Primary Sewage System

When your primary sewage piping or sump system is at risk, a back up battery pump is crucial. This pump kicks in when water levels are high. It keeps your home safe when too much rain water and debris has overwhelmed your existing drainage system. An emergency battery-powered pump can keep your home safely dry when the power goes out. It may sit on the shelf, unused for months or years at a time, but with appropriate maintenance, it will be ready when you need it.

If a sump pump isn't a possibility, you may be able to work with a remediation professional. These experts often have a truck-mounted trash pump, in addition to the sump.

Act Immediately

The immediate use of this equipment can prevent serious damages, mold growth, and the need for expensive repairs. Protect your Boston, MA, home and family from standing water, mold growth, and other flooding damages with a second layer of protection.