Help Protect Your Home With Storm Shutters
A way to protect your home from high winds is by installing storm shutters.
Protect Your Home From High Winds
In areas prone to high winds, residents often look for ways to protect their homes from damage. If your home is located in Financial District, MA, adding storm shutters to your property can not only provide protection but could also increase your property value. Below is a list of some of the shutter solutions most frequently chosen by homeowners, so you can see which option may be right for your property.
1. Storm Panels
Other than boarding up your windows with plywood, storm panels are one of the most cost-efficient ways to protect your home from high winds. These panels are removable during the hurricane off-season, but when in use, slide onto either permanent tracks or bolts installed around your windows. At a cost of only $7-$10 per square foot, aluminum storm panels can provide solid protection without breaking the bank.
2. Accordion Style
An accordion-style option has a similar look to a storm panel when in use but is folded and stored in a permanent box near the window until you need it. The cost ($15 to $20 per square foot) is about double that of a storm panel, but it is less burdensome to operate each year.
3. Bahama Style
Bahama-style storm shutters can be one of the most aesthetically pleasing choices and are sometimes used on homes for decorative purposes only. They are permanent fixtures that prop open when not in use, then lowered and secured when needed for protection. Priced around $20 to $30 per square foot, they could be a beautiful and functional option for your home.
4. Roll-Down Style
At $35 to $50 or more per square foot, roll-down-style shutters are more expensive than other options but can provide the most security and ease of use. Operated by a hand crank or sometimes with just the touch of a button, they roll up into a permanently installed box when not needed.
Restoring your home after damage from a storm will involve the help of experienced professionals, so taking extra measures to secure your home can be a worthwhile investment. Shutter options like the ones listed above can help reduce the damage to your property during high winds.
Fire Remediation: Where Did All the Water Come From?
Commercial fire damage in South Boston, MA.
It is odd to consider water cleanup in association with fire remediation, but it is a common pairing. After experiencing a business fire, it can be hard enough dealing with the charred remains of your property, but to also find water damage in areas that weren’t touched by the flames is frustrating and confusing. The fact is, firefighters, take many precautions to ensure the safety of others.
1. Putting Out the Blaze
Depending on the size of the fire, firefighters may have multiple hoses aimed at your property within minutes of arrival. These hoses operate at 400 psi and douse the flames in gallons of water per second. Additionally, firefighters will break out windows surrounding the blaze to hit the fire from above and below, causing massive amounts of flooding within your building.
2. Limiting the Damage
In an effort to limit the damage of a fire, firefighters will attempt to contain the fire to the initial area. However, this means that they will likely break through windows and doors of other rooms, flooding these areas with water to prevent the fire from spreading throughout the building but simultaneously expanding the water cleanup in its aftermath.
3. Restricting the Spread
Beyond dousing unaffected rooms, firefighters will soak the exterior of your property to limit the possibility of the fire jumping to surrounding buildings. This means your entire property is being doused, but it is a good thing. The water protects you, your property and your neighbors.
4. Walking Through the Facility
Once the fire is out, emergency services will walk your property looking for embers, using fire extinguishers on any remaining sources of heat. Between the hoses and the extinguishers, the fire cleanup is a massive undertaking requiring the assistance of a disaster restoration specialist in the South Boston, MA, area. These professionals are also experts in smoke cleanup.
While not often considered, water cleanup after a fire can be extensive. The fire hoses alone will contribute to a significant amount of water buildup, but when coupled with extinguishes and other suppression systems, it is likely necessary to hire a remediation specialist.
How To Practice Fire Safety in Your Home When Smoking Cigarettes
Take smoking outside.
Steps You Need to Take When Smoking at Home
While you might not always realize it, every time you smoke a cigarette you are at risk of starting a fire. If you’re not careful, the embers of your cigarette can easily come into contact with something flammable and ignite into a much larger problem. It is especially important to be aware of surroundings when at home in Back Bay, MA, since there are many flammable objects that can catch fire. In fact, cigarette fire is the number one cause of civilian home fire deaths in the United States. Here are a few important steps you need to take when smoking at home to protect yourself and your family.
1. Take Smoking Outside
With so many flammable objects inside your home, the most important safety precaution you can take when smoking is to take it outside. It is especially important you never smoke in your bedroom or while lying in bed. Bedding materials can catch fire easily, and you might fall asleep while smoking.
2. Use Ashtrays
Any time you smoke, dispose of your cigarette butt in a sturdy, stable ashtray placed on a surface that won’t easily catch on fire. A cigarette fire can easily start if you leave your butt on a random surface in your home.
3. Completely Put Out Butts
Make sure to completely put out cigarette butts and ashes before throwing them into the trash to prevent an ashtray fire. It is a good idea to soak the ashes and butts in water before tossing them.
4. Never Smoke Near Oxygen
Stay away from oxygen tanks or other places oxygen is used to prevent an explosive fire. Even if the oxygen source is turned off, stay far away to be safe.
Although cigarette fire is preventable if you keep in mind the steps listed above if one ever does occur in your home, it is a good idea to get in contact with a fire cleanup company that can quickly repair any damage that has occurred.
What to Know About Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes can cause damage to your home in South Boston, MA.
The cold temperatures of South Boston, MA, can lead to a number of problems for homeowners. One of which may include frozen pipes. A hard freeze can even lead to broken pipes or water damage in your home. Here are some things you may want to know about what to expect when your pipes freeze.
What To Do When Pipes Freeze
If you have a frozen pipe in your home there are a few things you can do
- Call a professional for help
- Keep your pipes open so the water has a place to go when thawed
- Apply gentle heat, like a hot towel or blow dryer, to the frozen area of the pipe
Why Pipes Freeze
During a hard freeze, the temperature outdoors can drop so low that the cold can permeate the pipes. Any water inside will then expand. If there is not enough room inside the pipes, then the pressure can cause cracks which will lead to leaks when the water thaws. A water damage professional can help with repairs to your home if the leak causes damage.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Fortunately, there are a few prevention steps you can take to prevent the freezing of your pipes and subsequent water damage. These steps include draining the water from pipes that may freeze such as a sprinkler line, and disconnecting any hoses from your home. You may also want to close any indoor valves that supply water to outdoor lines. If the weather is especially cold you may want to let your faucets drip a little as moving water is less likely to freeze. It’s also a good idea to keep your home’s temperature above 55 degrees.
When a hard freeze occurs, the water in your pipes can freeze and cause some damage to your home. A professional can help with any repairs and cleanup you may need. If you know that the temperature is likely to get to freezing point, you may be able to take some steps to protect your pipes.
4 Alternatives to Candles for Your Home
Consider a wax warmer as candle alternatives.
Candles can provide great ambient lighting and allow you to choose your favorite scent for your home. Unfortunately, candle use also can result in a house fire. Fire restoration specialists recommend that you never leave a lit candle alone in a room. To keep your home in Back Bay, MA, safer while still reaping the benefits, consider one of these four candle alternatives.
1. Scented Wax Warmers
A great way to avoid a candle fire without sacrificing the comforting scent you love is by using an electric wax warmer. As the warmer heats up, the wax melts safely, diffusing the scent throughout the room.
2. Battery-Operated Candles
Another flameless option is a candle that operates on a battery. You still get the look and flicker of a real candle without the actual flame. You can also choose a scented option. These candles are perfect for a bathroom or other guest area where you want to have the look and smell of a candle without the danger of an unattended flame.
3. Electric Tea Lights
For dramatic lighting, consider electric tea lights as candle alternatives. This versatile option gives you the soft glow of a traditional tea light. You can place them in candle holders or vases, allowing the light to reflect and set a relaxed mood.
4. Reed Diffusers
If you just want a nice scent but don't really need the lighting that a candle provides, a reed diffuser is a smart choice. You pour scented oil in a designated glass receptacle and then place scent sticks or reeds in the oil. The fragrance is released slowly through the reeds to permeate the room.
Candles are pretty, but they may be more of a fire hazard than they are worth, especially if you are leaving them in a room where you can't watch them. Choose one of these candle alternatives to set the same mood in a safer way.
3 Situations That Call for Flood Coverage
Flooded entrance of a building in Boston, MA.
Three Situations That Require Flood Insurance
Flooding can cause a great deal of damage to your commercial property, and your property insurance often doesn't cover it. If your building is in an area that is prone to flooding, you are required by law to have flood insurance, but it's a good idea even if it's not technically required where your business is located. You may think of a flood policy for your business in Boston, MA, as an extraneous expense, but if a situation arises where you need it, you'll be glad you purchased it.
When heavy storms strike, dropping a deluge more quickly than the area can handle, you may need a policy to pay for flood mitigation services. The property insurance in your commercial insurance package probably covers minor damage caused by a relatively small leak, such as:
- Wet insulation in the attic
- Water damage in walls from rain
- Ceiling replacement from a roof leak
If the storm persists and causes floodwaters that seep into your building and cause major damage, your flood insurance typically covers those repairs.
Overflowing Bodies of Water
If your business is near a lake, stream or river, prolonged rains can cause a flood, and this can affect your property. If the overflow reaches your building, there's probably not going to be any way to stop if from breeching your lower floors and causing quite a bit of damage to your building's structure. A flood policy can cover the repairs needed to restore your building.
If a levee or dam breaks, the area around it will probably not be able to avoid flooding. This type of flood can be especially devastating because the water may just keep coming until the hole is repaired. If you live in an area that would be affected by such a catastrophe, flood coverage is generally a must.
No matter where your commercial property is located, it's a good idea to have flood insurance. It offers protection beyond what your property insurance covers, and it can be the fastest way to get your building repaired after a flood.
Salvaging Your Property After a Flood: 4 Water Damage Tips
Replacing flooring after water damage
Salvaging Your Property After a Flood
A flood is one of the worst things a homeowner can experience. In the aftermath, water damage will likely result in the loss of memorabilia and property, and in the chaos of it, homeowners may be at a loss of how to cope. The steps below offer a systematic approach to the cleanout process that may be beneficial.
1. Dry Out the Area
Whether the result of a natural flood or broken pipes, it is necessary to remove excess water and dry out your home as quickly as possible. You can rent a variety of pumps to help remove the standing water. You can also rent air movers and dehumidifiers to circulate the air and dry space quicker.
2. Tear Out Damaged Wallboard and Insulation
When the floodwater has been removed, you can assess the extent of the water damage and begin the tear out process. Find where the water line was and remove affected drywall and insulation at least 20 inches above that line, doing this will help prevent the buildup and spread of mold.
3. Discard Porous Items
Do not listen to your heart when it comes to salvaging items, especially if the flood was natural or caused by a sewer backup. Porous items, like photos, carpets and other fabrics, preserve bacteria and provide room for it to spread, allowing the contamination of other objects in your home. When cleaning up from a flood, it is better to be safe and discard porous items that contacted floodwater.
4. Consult with Professionals
Depending on the severity of a flood, it may be helpful to consult with a restoration specialist in Back Bay, MA. These experts will have the experience and equipment to help you wade through your belongings, and they may be your best chance at preserving and salvaging many of your personal items.
Water damage, especially when the result of a flood, can be detrimental. Between the potential loss of sentimental items and the costs of the overall repair, stress levels run high after a flood. However, if you can remove the personal element and approach the water cleanup systematically, it can be both manageable and cathartic.
3 Things to Throw Away After a Fire
Medicine that has been exposed to fire you need to throw away.
Items To Throw Away After a Fire
Recovering from a home fire is a long, frustrating process, sometimes compounded by the loss of cherished belongings. When you face the destruction of the furnishings and content of your South Boston, MA, home, it can be hard to say good-bye to belongings that don't seem to have been affected. However, there are some items that you need to throw away, even if they don't look like they've damaged by fire or smoke.
Obviously, you'll toss out any cereals and breads that were on the counter. Of course, you'll throw away anything in open containers and foods there were stored in cardboard or thin plastic bags. It may surprise you to learn, however, that even your canned foods should be tossed out. This is because the high heat of the fire will activate the growth of bacteria, even when food is sealed in glass jars and cans from the store.
The contents of your fridge may be safe, even if the power has gone out, but remember that it's safer to throw out questionable foods than to suffer through physical sickness. Anything that smells smoky or odd, has visible soot, or doesn't feel cold should be disposed of.
The last thing you need after a fire is to be left without your necessary medications. However, these items can be affected by fire damage. If there's warping, charring, or signs of soot, throw it out. It's better to contact your doctor for refills than to become sick or suffer other side effects.
You may think that heat could affect cosmetics to the point that they are harmful to your health. However, the same temperatures that affect your food and medications could affect the chemicals in cosmetics to the point that they are no longer usable.
Ultimately, it's best to throw away any belongings that have suffered fire damage. This is particularly true for food, medicine, and cosmetics. Don't put yourself at risk. Ask professionals from the fire department or a fire restoration company if you aren't sure if something is safe to keep.
Restoring Content Damaged by Smoke and Soot
Commercial fire in Theatre District, MA.
Restoring Content Damaged by Smoke and Soot
Commercial fires can often be severe and leave businesses devastated. While not everything can be recovered from the aftermath of fire, you will want to preserve the content that can. It is beneficial to know the best methods for content cleaning when your goods have been affected by smoke or soot. For example, clothes that retain soot or the residual odor of smoke from a fire can be restored to their previous condition by professional dry-cleaning. Here are a few other methods for preserving your smoke and soot damaged items:
- Foam-cleaning should be attempted on all fabrics that are not color fast and those that may shrink during the wet cleaning process.
- Wet-cleaning can be used when dealing with garments that retain their color and items that have been heavily or moderately soiled by smoke or soot.
- Immersion-cleaning is generally reserved as a last resort and involved dipping contents into a cleaning agent.
It is always best to contact local Theatre District, MA, professionals to assist you with your content cleaning needs.
Items Constructed from Non-porous Material
Methods like dry-cleaning and wet-cleaning are great for fabrics, but what about non-porous materials? Your jewelry, electronics, vinyl records, and an abundance of other items can be saved with ultrasonic cleaning. An ultrasonic cleaner uses ultrasound to clean damaged items, often with the help of a small amount of tap water.
If you have considered moving your business’s belongings into content storage due to structural damage or other fire damage, bear in mind that it is essential to clean smoke and soot from electronics as soon as you are able. Metallic objects can become corroded due to acid contained in the smoke residue. While dry-cleaning clothing will certainly be a priority for some retail locations, you should also be mindful of electronic items that may store vital information, such as laptops, cell phones, servers, and point of sales computers and have them cleaned immediately to prevent loss of data.
Steps To Clean a Moldy Washing Machine
Keep your washing machine clean.
How To Clean a Moldy Washing Machine
Considering washing machines are used to keep things clean, you may wonder how you can even end up with mold in your washer – but it’s entirely possible. When it happens it’s one of the worst things ever, when that smell can soak into your clothing and never come out. But all is not lost; not only can you salvage your mold-contaminated washing machine, but you can even save your clothing.
Don’t Throw Out Your Washer Just Yet
Before you haul your washing machine to your Waterfront, MA, dumpster, try these steps to clean out the mold smell and remediate your mold issues:
• Scrub the machine out thoroughly. Glove up and get in there with some elbow grease and a brillo pad. Scrub the mold away until you can’t see anything but clean metal, then run an empty wash cycle to rinse the particulates away.
• Use everyday household products to both kill the mold and get rid of the smell. Run a cycle with a 1:4 mix of water and baking soda, then another cycle with vinegar put into the detergent tray. Both will help clean out any smells and eradicate remaining mold. Just remember to run an empty wash cycle after to rinse it out and prevent your dirty clothes from smelling like vinegar.
• Bleach everything. Bleach and other chemical cleaners can be that last “burn it all to the ground” resort, but they’ll work in a pinch. If you want to try something a bit gentler, though, give an oxy-based cleaner that uses oxidizing solutions a try.
What If the Washing Machine Still Stinks?
You may need to consult a mold remediation specialist. It’s possible the washing machine is beyond saving, but if anyone can help you bring it back from the brink, a specialist can. They may recommend solutions and techniques that aren’t commonly known to the average homeowner.