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The Right Approach to Handling Water Damage

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

A man replacing the flooring of a home. Floor damaged by water Restoring flooring after water damage in a South Boston, MA home

Steps To Mitigate the Damage

There are a lot of things you never want to experience as a homeowner in South Boston, MA. Major water damage is definitely one of them. Without a prompt, effective response, the results of the flooding could be catastrophic. You could lose precious belongings and possibly your entire home. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to mitigate the damage.

Call a Professional Company
Cleaning up after water damage could be overwhelming. It may seem like a hopeless task. Your best move is to call a trusted water removal company to minimize the damage in your house. The pros offer the following advantages:

  • Experience cleaning up after residential floods.
  • The right equipment and tools to thoroughly restore your home.
  • Proven techniques and expertise to tackle even the biggest jobs.
  • Timely arrival and completion of the cleanup.

Get Your Valuables out of the Way
If a sewer backup sends black water into your house, get out immediately and do not get near it. However, if the flood starts from broken pipes, it is clean water, so you can feel safe around it. In this case, you should get affected materials out of the way so they can start to dry. If there are items such as furniture, clothing or electronics near the water, move them to higher ground. It will also help to pull up any wet carpet.

Reduce the Risk of Mold
By itself, water can ruin materials in your home. After the water cleanup, you'll want to dry the area as well. This will minimize the chances of mold growing in your house, as fungal growth occurs in moist, humid places. After drying the affected spots in your house, disinfect all surfaces where the water touched.
Nobody wants to cope with water damage, but there are things you can do to prevent problems from getting more severe. As long as you're proactive and involve the pros, you can overcome these troubling issues.

Maintain Your Water-Damaged Commercial Building With These 3 Tips

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Water mitigation equipment. Stock of air movers and dehumidifiers SERVPRO's drying equipment

Maintain Your Water-Damaged Commercial Building With These 3 Tips

Whether a pipe burst or rainwater leaked inside your commercial building in Back Bay, MA, you need to take action immediately. While emergency remediation services respond as fast as possible to help, there are a few damage tips you can follow to slow down the damage and dry the area long enough for professionals to work.

1. Treat All Water as Contaminated
When it comes to flood water, it is reasonable to assume it is full of pollutants and bacteria. The water has likely contacted dirt, mud, garbage, or insecticides from the ground. If it comes from a burst sewage pipe, it is contaminated by sewer waste. Even if the water is clear, be cautious, and throw away all affected food items and disinfect all surfaces. Remember to wear waterproof gloves and boots, as well as wash your hands with soap and water.

2. Remove Water and Humidity
Excessive water and humidity weaken your building's structure and encourage mold growth. Therefore, the most common water damage tips involve removing it and drying the area with special tools and methods:

  • Wet/dry vacuums
  • Carpet extractors
  • Fans
  • Open windows
  • Water pumps
  • Buckets and other containers

Using these resources to eliminate water and humidity likely will not completely dry the area, as you lack the tools and experience that professionals have. Still, it helps reduce the potential damage, making the technicians' work easier.

3. Clear All Drains in the Premise
One of the most important cleaning tips is to clear all the drains throughout the building. The drainage system moves extra floodwater away from the location. Although inspection and clearing are more effective before a water incident, safely unblock gutters and other drains to dry the building faster.
Though it is best to leave full remediation to experienced professionals, you can help alleviate some of the impact. These simple damage tips prepare the building for that assistance while slowing down humidity and saving you time and money.

Keeping Employees Safe During Mold Removal

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Removing mold from the wall in the house. Hand in blue glove tears off wallpapers damaged by fungus Mold removal in South Boston, MA

If you run a business, you have a lot of responsibilities on your plate. Not only do you work hard to build a profitable company, but you must look out for the safety and well-being of your employees. If you discover mold in the office, you should hire reputable mold removal specialists to rid your building of this fungal growth. During this process, you should be able to keep your office open, but make sure you take the proper steps to protect your workers.

Inform Them of the Details

At first, you may be embarrassed to tell your staff that you have mold growth. It's best, to be honest, and upfront about the issue. Though this can concern people, you can mitigate many worries by telling everyone exactly what is happening. Make sure your employees know the following:

  • Where the mold damage is located
  • When cleanup crews will be in the office
  • How long the process will take
  • That their safety is your priority

Adjust Schedules, if Possible
It may not work for everyone, but if you can stagger work schedules and have fewer people in the building, there is less risk of exposure. This can be especially helpful if there is black mold in the building. If you can, allow the cleanup team in South Boston, MA, to come in during evening hours. Or, move employees' shifts to different times during the day.

Remote Working
if your business is conducive to a remote work environment, set up employees to work from home during the mold removal process. This can help the removal process to go faster.

Close off Parts of the Building
To clean up mold, technicians will use contaminants and other potent chemicals. To protect employees, you should restrict access to the areas where the mold is growing. Seal the work area until the mold is gone.
To keep your employees safe during the mold removal process, follow these guidelines. You can have peace of mind that your employees will be well and that your office can soon be free of mold.

4 Ways to Prevent Sewage Backups in Your Home

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

toilet paper put in Flush.used paper clogging the toilet Make sure you are not flushing napkins, paper towels, or other products that do not disintegrate quickly

4 Ways to Prevent Sewage Backups in Your Home

A sewage backup is something that no Boston, MA, homeowner wants to experience. Not only can this water be difficult to clean up, but it can also cause lasting damage to your property. While it is possible to repair the damage, it is best to prevent it from occurring in the first place. The following are a few ways that you can do that.

1. Dispose of Items Properly
There are only a select few items that are designed to be flushed down your toilet or poured down your kitchen sink. Disposing of other things in this way can cause a backup. Make sure you are not flushing napkins, paper towels, or other products that do not disintegrate quickly. You should also refrain from pouring grease or food down the drain.

2. Remove Plant Roots
Plants can be drawn to the moisture in your pipes and begin growing their roots there. This can make it difficult for the water to drain, resulting in flooding in your yard or in your home. Check for overgrown roots and remove these when necessary.

3. Unclog Your Drains
If there is nothing on the outside affecting your pipes, then you might simply have a clog. If you cannot identify the source of your backup, this is likely the case. Use chemical cleaners or a plumbing snake to remove anything that may be blocking the pipes.

4. Maintain Pipes Regularly
Storm damage, plants, and aging can result in your pipes not performing as well as they should. If your pipes are broken or blocked, water will not be able to move through them efficiently. In some cases, repairs can be done, but your pipes may need to be replaced depending on their type and age as well as the severity of the damage.
If clogged or broken pipes result in water overflowing into your bathroom or kitchen, you may need to have sewer cleaning done by a professional. A cleanup and restoration company can remove water and can make repairs to return your home to its previous condition.

Cleaning Smoke and Soot Damage

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke Smoke cleaning, especially on a commercial property scale, is not a DIY project

Cleaning Smoke and Soot Damage

Fire disasters are likely the worst for commercial properties because they cause fire, water, and smoke damage. Most smoke cleaning services in Theatre District, MA, will tell you that soot is one of the most challenging elements to remove, which is why the process of removal depends on a strict set of five items.

  • Ventilation
  • Safety gear
  • Chemical sponge
  • Vacuum
  • Detergents and cleaners

Ventilation is necessary for more reasons than eliminating smoke odor. Fire smoke also creates toxic chemicals, so airing out the facility allows some of those chemicals to escape, making the environment healthier for cleanup crews.

Safety Gear
While opening windows and allowing for increased ventilation is important, still wear safety gear, including gloves and a chemical mask. Wearing these items ensures that you remain safe from any potentially dangerous lingering fumes and substances.

Chemical Sponge
A chemical or dry cleaning sponge is one of the best tools for smoke cleaning. Made from vulcanized rubber, these sponges do not leave a residue behind, like other cleaners.

Removing soot from carpeting, flooring and work surfaces is easiest with a good quality vacuum. You can use a commercial shop vac with an upholstery attachment for the best effect.

Detergents and Cleaners
Removing the surface debris is crucial before using detergents and cleaners. Chemical or liquid cleaners can cause the soot to work its way deeper into materials. Only use products designed for cleaning smoke damage. Professional cleaners may have access to powerful cleaning equipment. The greater the suction and steaming power, the better your chances are for recovering damaged items.
Smoke cleaning, especially on a commercial property scale, is not a DIY project. Your business demands the expertise of a fire restoration expert, and your insurance may even require it. Focus on your business during these trying times and let the professionals worry about the cleanup of your facility.

Prevent Flooding Without Sand Bags

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Sandbags protecting a neighborhood The sand bag is the traditional material used to prevent flooding

The sand bag is the traditional material used to prevent flooding. It can work quite well for a short time. The bags are cheap and you can find them almost anywhere. There are some disadvantages to consider, however.

Disadvantages of Traditional Flood Bags

A sand bag is quite heavy and awkward to handle. The average weight of a pre-filled bag is about 28 pounds.
They have a short lifespan. Once the bags have been used, they aren’t effective during another flood and must be thrown away.
The bags can’t be disposed of in the trash. Since they contain potential contaminants, such as bacteria and sewage from rivers and other bodies of water, they are considered hazardous materials, which are expensive to dispose of properly.

Alternative Flood Dams

Flood experts have researched a number of options for better flood control. Listed below are some of the effective options.

Transportable Flood Fences - These barriers are lightweight enough for the average person to handle and they store easily in limited space. As flood water enters the barrier, it gives immediate stabilization to the fence and blocks water from flowing past it. They do take some time to install, however, so they need to be set up in anticipation of an upcoming flood.
Inflatable Dams - This option is easy and quick to install. Once the lightweight barriers are positioned, they are filled with water to protect from flood damage. If a water source and hoses are not close by, however, this isn’t an effective choice.
Flood Bags - For smaller areas, these bags work great. Made of a non-hazardous material and weighing only a little over a pound each, they can hold up to 44 pounds of water and can last up to 10 years.

If you are looking for an alternative to the traditional sand bag to keep your property in Waterfront, MA  safe from flooding, check out these effective solutions.

3 Levels of COVID-19 Cleaning

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says 3 categories SERVPRO of Boston Downtown/Back Bay/South Boston is licensed by the IICRC and here to help with Biohazard Remediation.

Much like water damage categories, there are different levels of COVID-19 cleanings, precautionary, suspected, and confirmed. These differentiations determine protocol when it comes to providing preventative measures as well as cleaning & disinfection after someone within the building has tested positive. 

Precautionary/Preventative - cleanings are a measure taken when there has been no confirmed or suspected cases. 

Suspected/Person Under Investigation - cleanings happen when there is reasonable suspicion that the virus is present, or one or more people that have been in the building have been tested and are waiting for results.

Confirmed - cleanings happen after there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 onsite.

It is very important that property owners and business stakeholders recognize their own abilities, comfort levels, resources, and risk factors. While all stages require proper precautionary & intentional steps, the CDC has issued the following protocol in regards to , Confirmed cleaning & disinfection:

  • Workers must be trained to follow OSHA regulations
  • Proper use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) donning and doffing
  • Compliance with Bloodborne Pathogens and proper disposal of of regulated waste and PPE
  • Disinfectants used include - diluted bleach solutions, alcohol solutions, household cleaners followed by disinfectants, EPA registered household disinfectants

SERVPRO of Boston Downtown/Back Bay/South Boston understands the immediate need for all stages, which is why we have made ourselves available 24/7 to offer disinfection services. We are able to offer disinfection services to buildings of all sizes, including residences for those in need. Please don’t hesitate to call our office for more information on proper protocol, pricing, and the products we are using.

 (617) 227-2200

Top 3 Air Purifiers That Remove Mold Spores

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Air purifier at work, taking care of the comfort of residents, employees in the office. Getting rid of dust, smog, viruses An air purifier can help calm your nerves

Check Out These Three Purifiers

Living in a home that has mold in it can be concerning. An air purifier can help calm your nerves. Check out these three purifiers that can remove mold spores from your home. Each one has multiple filters to provide a high level of air filtration.

1. Rabbit Air MinusA2

The Rabbit Air MinusA2 uses a series of five filters, including a pre-filter, HEPA filter, and an activated charcoal carbon filter, to purify the air within 850 square feet. This purifier has a negative ion generator and gets rid of over 99% of the particles floating in the air.

2. Austin Air Healthmate

The Austin Air Healthmate can purify the air within 1,500 square feet of this machine, and it also removes more than 99% of the toxins found in the air. It has a four-stage filtering process, including two pre-filters, a HEPA filter, and a zeolite and carbon filter. Like the other machines, it gets rid of mold spores at a high rate.

3. SilverOnyx

The SilverOnyx has all the features that you would want in a purifier, including a UV light filter, ionizer, carbon, and HEPA filters. It is quiet and has an air filtration system that packs a powerful punch. The SilverOnyx can purify the air of over 99% of pollutants within 500 square feet.
If you have physical mold damage in your home, you will need to hire a mold removal company. An organization that performs mold remediation will inspect and assess the damage. Workers will then curb the mold growth, filter the air and start on the restoration process.
Having mold spores in your place can be worrisome, and you will need an air purifier to get rid of it. Some of the top purifiers have multiple filters for air filtration and can rid the air of more than 99% of the particles found in it.

Disinfection Services in Boston, MA

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

crews exiting a van at night Our crews are working around the clock to provide cleaning services to local businesses.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your Boston, MA commercial space needs deep cleaning services, call the experts at SERVPRO of Boston Downtown/Back Bay/South Boston today! 

What Items Are Required in Safety Kits at Work?

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

CPR First Aid Training Concept Provide annual training for first responders in CPR

To help companies plan for any type of emergency or injury on the job, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established the minimum content requirements for a first aid kit in the workplace. Additional supplies may be required, depending on the nature of your business. Listed below are the minimum supplies needed in an emergency kit. For a small company with only a handful of employees, one kit is sufficient. Larger companies will need to set up kits at strategic locations throughout the facility to accommodate the number of people they employ.

Minimum Supplies Necessary

Gauze pads and bandages - 2 large gauze pads (8x10), several smaller gauze pads (4x4),one package of gauze roller bandage that is at least 2 inches wide, one box of adhesive bandages, 2 triangular bandages and a roll of adhesive tape
Moistened towelettes or other wound cleaning supplies that are individually packaged and sealed
One pair each of scissors and tweezers
One blanket
Latex gloves, two elastic wraps, and a splint
Resuscitation equipment - either a resuscitation bag or a pocket mask

It is essential to also include the instructions for emergency assistance. The kits should be labeled with a large, easy-to-read sign so that the kit can be identified quickly.

Conduct a Kit Audit
Many companies in Chinatown, MA  conduct routine audits of each first aid kit to ensure that supplies are readily available when they are needed. Designate a person or persons to audit the kits at planned intervals. Having a checklist attached to the side of the kit will make the job easier. Always keep additional supplies in stock to replenish as needed.

First Aid Training
Provide annual training for first responders in CPR as well as other emergencies medical and safety procedures. There should be an adequate number of trained employees on each shift who can handle routine emergencies and who will be responsible for contacting emergency services if necessary.
Keeping your first aid kits properly stocked will help your company handle any emergency.