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4 Steps You Should Take After a Furnace Puffback

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

Old dirty brickwork in soot Puffback damage

Steps To Take After A Furnace Puffback

A malfunctioning furnace can cause puffback damage that may leave you with widespread soot and streaks on surfaces. These are four steps you should take after a furnace puffback.

1. Assess the Damage
A puffback from your oil furnace can cause damage throughout your building. The first step in the restoration process is to inspect your property to determine how much damage has been done. Make a list of damaged property and take photographs for your insurance company. This will help speed up the claims process.

2. File an Insurance Claim
Most commercial property insurance covers puffback damage. Your insurance company will need to inspect your damage before you can begin cleaning and repairs, so contact them as soon as possible to get the claims process started.

3. Call an HVAC Technician
A puffback is a sign that your furnace needs to be repaired. Attempting to run the furnace without having it repaired could lead to another puffback or cause additional damage to your HVAC system. Contact an HVAC technician in Seaport, MA, to schedule an appointment. Once your system has been repaired, have it inspected regularly to ensure this problem doesn't occur again.

4. Contact a Professional Restoration Company
The soot and oil that stain surfaces after a puffback are difficult to remove and can cover a very large area. It may even spread through your ductwork. Attempting to clean this type of damage yourself can do more harm than good. Contact a professional restoration company to do the cleaning for you. Cleaning technicians have the tools and training needed to remove all of the damage from your building and deodorize and decontaminate the area.
Puffback damage can create a sticky mess that is difficult to get rid of. However, taking the proper steps can ensure your property is returned to preloss condition and help prevent the problem from recurring.

How to Remove Lingering Odors Caused by Water Damage

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Office. Flood cuts have been performed on drywalls Commercial restoration services in South Boston, MA.

Ways To Remove Bad Odors After Water Damage

Water of all kinds can cause damage to your South Boston, MA, building. While contaminated water may be more likely to cause lingering odors, clean water can also contribute by facilitating mold growth. If you are noticing bad smells after water damage, the following steps can help remove them.

1. Clean Surfaces
Both flooding and sewage loss can bring black water into your building. This water is highly contaminated and can contain bacteria, mud, waste and other debris. As a result, it can carry with it unpleasant odors. Everything that this water has come into contact with should be thoroughly cleaned, both to reduce these odors as well as to prevent bacteria from spreading within the building.

2. Perform Mold Remediation
Mold spores that have been brought into the building by contaminated water, as well as those already present, will grow quickly in a wet environment. Infestations of this fungus can then create a musty odor. Both the mold growth and the smell can be effectively removed by a mold remediation company.

3. Replace Damaged Materials
Materials like insulation and drywall can easily absorb large amounts of floodwater. These are not easily cleaned, resulting in bad smells that stick around as well as damage to the building. Removing and replacing these materials should reduce lingering odors.

4. Remove Odors From the Air
If you have tried the previous steps but still haven’t quite removed all of the bad smells, then you may need to clean the air inside the building. Using an air purifier, you can remove bacteria and other contaminants to create a clean and fresh-smelling environment.
After you have experienced water damage, it can take some time to return your building to its previous condition. Everything should be cleaned thoroughly and any mold growth should be removed. In most cases, it is best to have this done by a professional who has the necessary training and equipment to get the job done properly.

How To Clean Your Microwave

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Closeup of hand in protective glove wiping rag microwave. View from the interior of the oven Keep your microwave clean.

Microwaves, like any other kitchen appliance in your Back Bay, MA, home, must be cleaned periodically to stay in top working condition. An unpleasant smoke smell can also appear if your device isn’t cleaned properly. If you need help restoring after a kitchen fire, contact a fire restoration right away.

Cleaning Tips After Every Use

The inside of the microwave should be cleaned every time you use it.

Wipe the inside walls and the tray with a wet cloth right after use.
If food becomes hardened, place a bowl of water with a small amount of vinegar inside the unit and warm it up for several seconds. This acts as steam clean to loosen the food particles.
If the tray is especially dirty, place it in the sink filled with warm, sudsy water for a few minutes. Rinse and dry before replacing it.

Maintenance Steps For Periodic Cleaning
There are a few working parts within the appliance that need to be cleaned or replaced periodically. The charcoal filter should be changed a couple of times a year. Since this filter absorbs pollutants, replacing it before it stops working helps to keep any smoke smell at bay. It’s important to note that the charcoal filter is only significant on units that have recirculating air. If your model vents to the outside, you can skip this maintenance step.
In over-the-counter ranges, the grease filter should be cleaned frequently. Manufacturer’s recommendations may vary, so follow the instructions in your operator’s manual. As a rule of thumb, however, once per month is sufficient to keep it working well. Remove the filter and place it in hot, soapy water. You can lightly scrub the filter with a soft brush if necessary.
The vent grill should be cleaned periodically as well. Refer to your owner’s manual for details on how to clean it.
Keep your microwave clean so that it functions well and removes unpleasant smoke smell from your home

4 Times Homeowners Insurance Covers a Flooded Basement

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Leaking water heater Your insurance will generally cover water heater incidents.

4 Times Homeowners Insurance Covers a Flooded Basement

There are many reasons a basement flood could occur in your home in Boston, MA. If you experience any of the following, your insurance coverage should take care of the damage.

1. Broken Appliances
If your washing machine, HVAC unit, or refrigerator causes a sudden basement flood, your insurance will typically cover the damage. Any time your appliance malfunctions, you'll probably find yourself getting reimbursed. Just keep in mind that your insurance will only cover the damage, such as the cost to hire a water remediation company. You are responsible for replacing the faulty appliance. However, sometimes the damage was due to poor maintenance on your part. If your insurance adjuster finds evidence that you haven't maintained your appliances properly, your claim can be denied.

2. Leaking Water Heaters
Just like a malfunctioning appliance, your insurance will generally cover water heater incidents. Again, keep in mind that the insurance company will inspect whether the source was sudden or caused by neglect. If your adjuster finds evidence of poor maintenance, they can deny your claim.

3. Freezing Pipes
If the temperature drops really low overnight, any pipes that burst due to freezing will be covered. This includes pipes leading to your HVAC unit, sprinklers, and appliances. The only restriction is that you must be living in your home at the time of the burst. Otherwise, you have to prove that you had the heat turned on in the building.

4. Overflowing Tubs, Pools, and Sinks
You may be surprised to find that your insurance will cover a basement flood caused by an overflowing pool, tub, sink, or other fixture. These incidents fit under your policy's sudden and accidental clause, so the damage you caused is covered. In other words, when your toddlers think it is a good idea to stuff the basement toilet with their toys and flush, all is well on the insurance front.
These are just some of the types of water damage that your insurance will cover. There are plenty of other times when your insurance covers the damage in your flooded basement.

The Best Large Loss Restoration Company Qualities

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Team member of SERVPRO downloading equipment from van. SERVPRO can help you get your company back open as quickly as possible.

What Qualities To Look For In A Large Restoration Company

Disasters happen. When they do, they can ruin everything in your business in Theatre District, MA. They can also force you to shut down until repairs are finished. The result is a serious interruption that you want to be remedied as soon as possible. That's why you need to know what qualities to look for in a large loss restoration company. Knowing what to look for can help you choose the best company. That will help you recover from any disaster, whether you face flooding or blizzards. This can get your company back to normal quickly.

Experience With Numerous Loss Sources
You want to look for a company that has experience with several types of loss sources. For instance, you should look for a company that has dealt with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, and broken sprinkler systems.

Offer Comprehensive Services
When recovering from a catastrophic loss, you need a disaster restoration company that handles it all. Find one that offers a comprehensive list of services, including:

  • Damage assessment
  • Structural drying
  • Anti-microbial treatments
  • Sewage remediation
  • Demolition
  • Power setup
  • Picture documentation
  • Daily updates

Cares About Your Business
You want a company that is going to be reliable. You also want them to do great work. Plus, you want them to communicate well. You may even be looking for someone who cares enough to focus on getting your business back open. That is the ideal catastrophic loss company. They should care about your business enough to get the job done right and work with you.

Place Value First
Obviously, you want the job done quickly. However, you also want your catastrophic loss team to prioritize value over speed. Therefore, you should look for a company that is responsive, caring, dependable, top-quality, good communicators, experts, and trustworthy.
Storm damage and other disasters can happen to any business. If you want to find restoration professionals that can help you get your company back open as quickly as possible, you need to know what qualities to look for.

Top 3 Causes of Commercial Water Damage

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Clear water standing on floor Water damage in Waterfront, MA

Common Sources Of Water Damage

A broken pipe can put a damper on your business in Waterfront, MA. It can cause you to shut down while the water restoration company is working and ruin your inventory and equipment. In other words, you want to avoid them. Here are the most common sources of water damage and how you can prevent them.

1. Roofing
Be sure to check your roof. Standing water is a sign that your drainage system is not working properly. This is a problem because of the weight of the water. Eventually, this will strain your roof and cause leaks, which can do more damage than a broken pipe. Also, be sure you look for damaged flashing, felt, and shingles. These pieces can degrade over time and will need to be replaced to avoid leaks.

2. Pipes
Your plumbing is vulnerable to clogs and other damage. A broken pipe can lead to lots of water entering your business. Regularly examine the outside of your pipes for stains, rust, cracks, and bulges. If you see any of these, call a plumber and have the area replaced. Additionally, you can use pipe cameras to look at the inside of your pipes. You can also insulate your pipes to prevent freezing in the winter. Furthermore, a lot of commercial buildings can benefit from leak detectors. These are inexpensive and alert you to any leaks. Some can even try to stop leaks themselves.

3. Mother Nature
Hurricanes, thunderstorms, and flooding do a lot of damage to businesses. While you can't avoid nasty weather, you can take steps to make sure you are ready to deal with disasters. For instance, you can clear your gutters, install waterproofing solutions, and store sensitive equipment off the ground. You can also purchase flood insurance to cover any damage from a disaster.
Ultimately, you want to avoid hiring a water repair company. The best way to do this is to understand the common water sources and take proactive measures to prevent them.

Preventing Frozen Pipes in your Boston, MA Property

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

a blue graphic that says frozen pipes Winter storms and freezing weather can cause frozen and burst pipes in your Massachusetts property.

Preventing Frozen and Burst Pipes in Boston, MA

Heavy rain isn’t the only source of storm damage; frigid winter storms can also lead to flooding and other serious water damage. For example, if the plumbing throughout your property isn't insulated, installed, or maintained properly, you could end up with a burst pipe. Which pipes are most likely to freeze?

Your sprinkler lines, supply lines to swimming pools, or outdoor hose bibs
Exposed lines in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces and attics
Pipes installed against exterior walls, especially without insulation
Plumbing lines in uninsulated kitchen and bathroom cabinets

When temperatures drop and water freezes, the developing ice expands and puts added pressure on pipes. Even very strong pipes will crack or burst under the pressure as standing water expands while freezing.

Insulate Exposed Pipes

One of the best ways to protect your pipes is to add insulation around exposed pipes. Be sure to check inside cabinets, along exterior walls, in the garage, and in the basement. If you don't know where the pipes run, it's best to hire a plumber to help. After the construction on your building is complete, it can be hard to track down the original plans, and there's no guarantee that the contractor followed the plans precisely. A plumber, however, can usually let you know within an hour or two where the pipes are located.

Drain Water Before Temperatures Drop

The next step in protecting against a burst pipe is draining water from all of the pipes that aren't used during the winter, such as swimming pool supply lines and the sprinkling system. After draining hoses, wrap them up and store them until warmer weather. Don't put antifreeze into any of your water supply lines; it is very dangerous to humans, animals, and the environment.

Catch Damage Early

If you see condensation around your windows, on the walls, or on interior pipes, contact a water damage mitigation and repair team as quickly as possible. You may avoid serious damages if you catch a developing crack or minor leak before it becomes a burst pipe. If you do need to deal with a frozen pipe our team of professionals at SERVPRO of Boston Downtown/Back Bay/South Boston work quickly to keep damage under control.

3 Ways To Determine if There Is Mold in Your Business

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Mold damage found behind a liquor display area Whenever mold is present, it is time for mold remediation

Time For Mold Remediation

Mold isn't always easy to find. Fortunately, there are a number of symptoms that can indicate your business in Chinatown, MA, has a fungus issue. These range from mycotoxin odors to visual signs. If you notice any of these, it is time to call a mold company.

1. Is There a Musty Smell?
A lot of people don't realize mold smells at all or what it actually smells like. The fungus typically has a musty odor. This can include earthy, damp, and tangy tones, often described as somewhere between rotten wood and dirty socks. These smells comes from the mycotoxin released as mold grows. If you notice a new unpleasant smell in your business, it is time to start searching for mold.

2. Are There Signs of Water Damage?
Condensation, elevated moisture levels, and other water issues are likely to cause mold growth. The most common signs of water damage include discoloration and stains on walls, ceilings, and flooring. Additionally, water can cause bubbling, peeling, and cracking in paint and wallpaper. These signs are usually accompanied by a colony of spores inside the materials. If you know about a past or current water issue, you should have the space inspected.

3. Do You See Mold?
Seeing mold is a much more obvious sign that you have a problem than sniffing for mycotoxin. Green or black areas, slimy residue, and mildew are all common visual indicators of mold. However, mold spores can also hide as dirt. Therefore, people may easily overlook the visual signs.
Whenever mold is present, it is time for mold remediation. Signs of past or present water damage at your business can mean mold is growing, and look for visual indications as well as new odors that can easily go overlooked. Once you notice an issue, take action to get rid of the problem quickly before the mold does damage to your building.

What Is an Ice Dam?

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Icicle, ice accumulated on the edge of a roof An ice dam can lead to leaks in your roof

What Is an Ice Dam?

Ice that accumulates on the edge of a roof and keeps the water from melting snow from running off the roof is called an ice dam. These dams can lead to property damage if not addressed promptly.

Problems Caused by Dams
Because the water from melting snow can not drain from the surface of the roof, water may leak into the home. These leaks can cause several problems:

  • Damage to ceilings, walls, insulation, and other surfaces
  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Roof damage

Causes of Dams
The primary cause of ice dams is variable temperatures across the surface of the roof. This variation is caused by heat loss from the home, snow cover on the roof and differing temperatures between higher and lower sections of the roof. If part of the roof surface is above freezing, the snow on the roof will melt. When the water from the melted snow contacts the part of the roof that is below freezing, the water freezes, forming the dam. As additional snow on the roof melts and the water comes in contact with the existing ice, the ice grows larger; however, the dam will only spread to the parts of the roof that are below freezing. This causes the remaining water to pool on the portion of the roof that is above the freezing point.

Repairing Damage
The first step to repairing damage from a dam that forms after a winter storm is to dry out ceilings, walls, and other interior surfaces affected by leaks. A water restoration company in North End, MA, can assist you with this process. Your homeowners' policy may include ice dam coverage that will compensate you for the cost of repairs.
Energy loss from your home can combine with snow cover on your roof to form an ice dam that can lead to leaks in your roof. Managing the heat loss from your home is the best way to avoid this issue.

Where Does Fire Damage Mitigation Stop and Restoration Start?

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Building Windows all Boarded Up Board up services in South End, MA

The term “mitigation” is used by fire damage restoration professionals to refer to stopgap measures to keep conditions from worsening until cleanup takes place at a building in South End, MA. For the best outcome, a commercial property owner should rely on a one-stop-shop to mitigate, clean, and restore commercial fire damage.

Mitigation Limits Damage

Mitigation measures limit the severity of secondary damage resulting from primary fire damage. Based on the severity of a fire and the suppression methods used, mitigation may involve any of the following measures:

  • Boarding up holes in walls or windows
  • Extracting standing water from fire hoses
  • Tarping over holes in roofing materials

The goal of mitigation is not to eliminate the effects of fire damage. Instead, these measures are helpful for managing moisture levels and keeping out debris and trespassers.

Cleanup Eliminates Damage
The shift from mitigation to fire damage restoration involves a change in priority from preventing damage from getting worse to taking measures to improve the condition of a structure with fire damage. Ash and soot may be removed by sweeping or vacuuming the affected area. Restoration professionals recommend disposing burned, singed, or melted materials and contents. Surfaces and items that have only sustained smoke or soot damage may be cleaned.

Restoration Continues Until Completion
Rebuilding a damaged location and finishing measures such as smoke cleanup are restoration tasks. Professionals who specialize in restoring fire damage can recommend treatments for stained surfaces or items to keep signs of damage from resurfacing over time.
Managers and owners of commercial properties should rely on fire damage restoration professionals located near South End, MA. It is a good idea to seek out a company that provides mitigation, cleanup, and restoration services. Estimates and schedules that are issued by a single service are more likely to be accurate than assessments by more than one mitigation, cleanup, and restoration companies.