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3 Steps To Take When a Toilet Overflows

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Steps To Take When a Toilet Overflows Sewage cleanup in a Boston,MA home

Three Steps to Limit Damage While Attempting to Clear the Drain Line

A flooded toilet is caused by a blockage in the drain line. Backups can result in sewer damage at a residence in Boston, MA. A homeowner can try plunging the toilet or using an auger or snake. If these consumer-grade tools do not eliminate the clog, the homeowner should contact a plumber. Follow these three steps to limit damage while attempting to clear the drain line.

1. Prevent Overflow From Spreading

As soon as the toilet begins to overflow, a homeowner should use towels or a mop to prevent water from spreading. This measure can reduce the extent of water damage. Water from a toilet backup is contaminated and may cause irreparable sewer damage to carpet or other porous materials. It will be necessary to dispose of cleanup materials.

2. Snake the Toilet or Floor Drain

Obtain an auger or snake designed for use in toilets. Some snakes are hand cranked, while others feature a power drill attachment. Run the snake down the toilet, or remove the toilet and insert the snake directly into the floor drain. Depending on the location of a clog, the snake should penetrate and either break up or extract the blockage.

3. Snake the Drain Cleanout

If the clog is located further down the line, a homeowner can try snaking the drain clean out. The clean out is a cap on the main line located in a basement or crawlspace. Use a long pipe wrench to remove the cap. This tool is required to provide the necessary torque. Backup may flow out once the cap has been removed.

If a toilet still floods after a homeowner has taken all of these steps, it will be necessary to contact a plumber. Depending on the severity of sewer damage, it may also be advisable to contact a sewage company that provides water damage mitigation and restoration in Boston, MA.

How To Keep Your Restaurant Kitchen Mold-Free

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How To Keep Your Restaurant Kitchen Mold-Free Install a ventilation system in your Waterfront, MA kitchen

Enjoying the fruits of your hard-earned labor through the success of your Waterfront,MA, restaurant is always a rewarding feeling. However, coming across mold growth in your commercial kitchen can bring that contentment to a halt very quickly. Thankfully, there are various methods for keeping your restaurant kitchen clean and consistently mold-free.

Focus Your Attention On the Food Itself

Though there are many possible avenues for mold growth to occur, one of the most common causes of mold is through the food you bring into your kitchen. It can materialize easily on such foods as:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Cheeses and other dairy products
  • Bread, and more

Therefore, it’s important to inspect your produce and other items before ever integrating them into your kitchen. Look for bruises, abrasions or already-apparent growths on your fruits and vegetables before purchasing. Check the expiration dates on packaged items and keep any open containers covered or sealed until use to prevent the onset of mold.

Keep a Reliable Ventilation System

Mold tends to emerge in areas that are dark, moist and generally untouched, meaning it can be hard to pinpoint the onset of mold until it’s too late. Help yourself and your kitchen crew by installing a ventilation system that reduces the high humidity in the kitchen, preventing potential mold from finding a suitable place to take root.

Remove and Restore Any Water Damage As It Occurs

Finding water damage in your restaurant would hardly be surprising, as running water is a consistent feature in any commercial kitchen with food prep spaces, dishwashing stations and more. For this reason, it’s important to always keep an eye out for continuously damp or wet areas that are the perfect breeding ground for mold. Hiring qualified mold remediation specialists to clear the area of any damage is key to a clean and healthy food prep environment.

When it comes to keeping the commercial kitchen of your Waterfront,MA, restaurant clean and mold-free, following these methods can help prevent any outbreak of unwanted mold growth and clear your kitchen for healthy food prep.

3 Things Not To Do After a Flood

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Things Not To Do After a Flood Flooded home in Boston, MA

Avoid These Three Things

What you don't do after a flood can be as critical for your safety as the actions you take. It is important to remove flood water to limit water damage, but you should also avoid doing these three things after a flood in Boston,MA.

1. Risk Exposure to Tainted Water

Standing water resulting from a flood is considered Category Three water, or black water. It may contain contaminants such as chemicals, heavy metals, microbes, or solid waste. Keep unprotected skin from making contact with this infected water, and do not allow humans or animals to drink it.

If you attempt to mitigate damage in a flooded home, be sure to wear personal protective equipment, such as waterproof boots, hip waders, and heavy work gloves. If mold may be present, you should also wear a respirator.

2. Turn the Electricity On or Off

You may risk electrocution if you attempt to cross flood water to shut off a circuit breaker. There is no guarantee that water-damaged electrical components will function normally. Furthermore, neighbors may be running a generator improperly and back-feeding electricity into the grid. 

A utility company technician or a licensed electrician can disconnect the electrical meter to ensure that there is no electrocution risk. You should also exercise caution when dealing with flood-damaged electronics, which are likely to short-circuit.

3. Delay Cleanup

The longer water is left standing or moisture lingers, the more likely mold growth will become. Mold can begin to grow in a flooded home in 24 to 72 hours. Contact a cleanup service to eliminate standing water.

Avoid unprotected exposure to flood water, the risk of electrocution, and the dangers of secondary damage. The best way to handle flood damage is to hire water damage mitigation and restoration specialists to clean, to disinfect, and to dry the flooded portion of your residence in Boston, MA.

Your Business’s Fire Exposure May Be Worse Than You Think

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Your Business’s Fire Exposure May Be Worse Than You Think Fire break out in a Chinatown,MA building

No business owner wants to watch years of investment and effort go up in smoke. Still, fire damage in Chinatown, MA, is a somewhat common occurrence. If your business has gone through a fire, damage may be more extensive than you think.

Insurance May Not Cover All Damage

As a diligent business owner, you likely have insurance to protect your company from the effects of fires and other hazards. Unfortunately, following a fire, your insurance adjuster may inform you that your policy doesn’t cover certain types of fires. Commonly, fire policies exclude the following events:

  • Arson-related fires
  • Fires in vacant buildings

A Fire May Touch All Parts of Your Business

Fires can be unbelievably destructive. Once smoke clears and fire crews leave, you may notice damage to all parts of your business. Damaged structures may include office buildings, warehouses, storage facilities and distribution centers. Further, inventory, office supplies, computers and equipment may sustain fire damage as well.

Fire Containment Can Cause Additional Damage

The best way to limit damage during a business fire is to extinguish flames as quickly as possible. Still, fire mitigation often causes additional damage. As such, even if your business did not turn into a raging inferno, you may have to deal with the messes water, fire retardant and smoke leave behind. Fortunately, you probably don’t have to figure out cleanup on your own. A professional restoration technician from a reputable service likely has the equipment and knowledge to assess damage and recommend a restoration strategy.

While all fires are different, many in Chinatown, MA, have the potential to cause serious damage to your business. As a savvy entrepreneur, you spend a significant amount of time thinking of ways to attract new customers and improve your company’s products or services. Nonetheless, if you don’t have a plan for recovering from fire damage, you may be missing the mark.

What Sets Smart Smoke Detectors Apart?

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What Sets Smart Smoke Detectors Apart? Protect your South Boston, MA home with a smart smoke detector

Smart smoke detectors are a relatively new technology that can send push notifications to smartphones and may be controlled remotely. Find out how a next-generation smoke alarm can protect your home.

Smart Alarms Types

There are three types of smart fire safety devices:

  • Smart batteries
  • Smart detectors
  • Listeners

Smart batteries can be used in standard battery-powered smoke detectors or as backups in hardwired units. Smart detectors may cover more square-footage than standard alarms and can be controlled remotely. Listeners send alerts when any alarm is triggered.

Technological Differences

A smart battery is an affordable way to monitor your home while you are out. This technology functions like a nine-volt battery but has Wi-Fi connectivity to send notifications. You can silence battery-powered alarms remotely, but this function does not work for hardwired alarms with smart battery backups.

A smart smoke alarm also sends notifications, can be remotely controlled, and may be capable of monitoring more than one floor of your home. Some devices alert users to elevated carbon monoxide levels. Listeners send notifications whenever an alarm sounds in your home, though these devices are not capable of silencing alarms.

Smart Alarms Effectiveness

A single smart alarm may monitor an entire floor of your home, or more. If your home is spacious, you may want to just install a listener to notify you of any alarms.

Smart Detector Costs

Smart fire safety solutions are available in a wide price range:

  • The initial smart battery unit retails for about $35 with $15 replacements once or twice a year
  • Smart detectors start around $100
  • Listeners range from $50 to $100

Consider a smart smoke alarm or smoke detector device to receive timely push notifications about alarms. All of these devices can increase overall safety at your residence in South Boston, MA. If a fire results in damage, rely on the expertise of damage restoration professionals.

How To Choose Flood Coverage for Your Business

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial How To Choose Flood Coverage for Your Business Water extraction at a Back Bay,MA prison

The National Flood Insurance Program offers both building property and personal property flood coverage for businesses. If your business is located in an area prone to flooding, chances are that you are required to have some type of flood policy. Commercial insurance policies that are specifically designed to cover single-peril events provide protection that your general property insurance does not.

What It Covers

The main differences between building property and personal property flood insurance are the relative mobility and permanence of the damaged item or material. Items that are part of the structure or are hooked up to it in some way are usually covered under the building property policy:

  • Building and its foundation
  • HVAC system
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Fire sprinkler system
  • Installed design features such as carpeting or paneling
  • Machinery that is a permanent part of the structure, such as a walk-in freezer
  • Any apparatus attached to the outside of the building

Commercial insurance coverage for your personal property during a flood includes most items inside the structure. Furniture, appliances, rugs, inventory and equipment are typically covered under an NFIP policy through FEMA.

What It Doesn't Cover

Flood coverage is usually limited to a single event, the structure and the items within that structure. Secondary damage such as mold, which must be mitigated by mold remediation experts, is not covered under your company's flood policy. If the sewer backs up into your building, your commercial flood coverage does not pay for its cleanup, even if it was indirectly caused by flooding. Anything outside the building is not covered, and neither are the costs of keeping your business going. It's a good idea to talk to your insurance agent about adding policies that cover what the flood policies don't to your portfolio.

When your business in Back Bay, MA, floods due to a storm or natural disaster, you will be glad you have a policy with the NFIP. These commercial insurance policies are designed to help make your business whole again.

Basement Floods: The 4 Essential Steps to Mitigating Further Loss

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Basement Floods: The 4 Essential Steps to Mitigating Further Loss Basement flood damage in Boston, MA

A basement flood can be devastating for homeowners, and when left to develop, flooding creates a multitude of issues from mold growth to structural problems. Taking the appropriate steps, as outlined below, can help mitigate further damage and get you on the path toward restoration.

1. Take Appropriate Safety Precautions

Whether sewage backup or a broken pipe causes a flood, water can pose significant risks to homeowners. After a flood, there is an increased risk of slip and fall injuries and electrocution. Therefore, turn off the electricity in the area and watch your footing. Additionally, if you are dealing with sewage, invest in protective clothing before handling any affected items.

2. Remove Standing Water

Whether flooding is less than an inch or over a foot, it can be challenging to begin the cleanup process without removing the water first. Depending on the depth of the water, it may be more practical to rent a sump pump which can be faster than a wet vac alone.

3. Dry the Area

Quickly drying the area is paramount to reducing the risk of mold development. Mold can form and begin spreading within the first 24 to 48 hours after the initial water damage. Open doors and windows and use air movers or fans to help with air circulation. The use of dehumidifiers may also be helpful to remove excessive moisture in the air.

4. Call for Assistance

Some floods require massive amounts of cleanup and can be a struggle without the proper tools. If your flooded basement is a little too daunting, you may want to reach out to professionals in Boston, MA, especially if the issue stems from a broken water or sewer line and requires a pipe repair.

Flooding is a nightmare for most homeowners, especially when it occurs in the basement. Fortunately, the cleanup process is manageable. However, it is important to remember that time is of the essence, and it may be beneficial to seek assistance for water damage where structural integrity and mold growth are concerns.

How to Be Proactive about Plumbing Issues in Your Commercial Business

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How to Be Proactive about Plumbing Issues in Your Commercial Business Water damage in South Boston, MA

A broken pipe or cracked water main can be significant plumbing problems for business owners; however, while the plumbing issues can be detrimental for a property, the level of stress and pressure on the business owner can also present risks. It is better to manage property effectively and properly to minimize the chances of one of these major catastrophes.

1. Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is one of the most important things a building owner can do to protect their property, the tenants, and employees. Preventative maintenance refers to the routine inspection of plumbing, sprinklers, pumps, and drains. While the inspection schedule for any of these items may vary, you may want to aim for at least one full-scale inspection per year.

2. Fix Minor Issues Before They Become Major Ones

While performing preventative maintenance is a wonderful prevention tool, it means nothing if issues are discovered and not addressed. The whole point in performing inspections is to find and resolve issues while they are still small, as opposed to waiting until the issue manifests into plumbing problems that can temporarily close down the business. Fixing these minor issues before they become major ones is just good business sense.

3. Find Backup You Can Count On

As being proactive about plumbing issues involves routine maintenance, it may be in your best interest to find a plumbing specialist in the South Boston, MA, area that you can rely on and trust. You may want to speak with several companies and individuals before deciding because, as you will likely be doing business together for years to come, you want to feel comfortable in your decision.

Plumbing problems pose a significant concern for most business owners because of the expense and potential recovery time; however, if owners can commit to performing annual inspections and fixing small issues before they become substantial issues, then they may not have to spend too much time worrying about their potential risk.

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.