Recent Posts

What To Do When Your Business Loses Power

8/31/2022 (Permalink)

WiFi symbol on smartphone screen with button to connect to wireless Internet, hand lock holding the cell phone Take a working lunch to a restaurant with a strong Wi-Fi signal.

Three Ways To Continue Working When You Lose Power

Storm season in Neponset, 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 temporary 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 use 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.

3 Common Pitfalls of DIY Mold Testing Kits

8/29/2022 (Permalink)

Mold kit test Home mold testing kit

Mold Kits Are Subject To Some Big Problems

Some homeowners buy home mold testing kits as a budget-friendly alternative to a professional mold inspection. Others use these tests to confirm their suspicions about mold in their homes before they call the professionals. Before you buy a home mold kit, for any reason, you should be aware that these kits are subject to some big problems.

1. Test Samples Must Be Shipped to a Lab
A typical DIY mold kit comes with a petri dish. You leave the dish open in your home for a specified amount of time, then seal it, capturing any mold spores inside. Next, you ship the sealed petri dish to a lab for analysis. The shipping step is problematic because you have no control over the sample while it’s in transit. For example, your sample could be exposed to extreme heat or cold during shipping; since mold spores are sensitive to temperature, this could skew your test results. Furthermore, the glass slides in most mold testing kits break easily, even with protective packaging.

2. Lab Results Are Often Inconclusive
At the lab, scientists analyze your test sample and generate a report indicating the type and number of mold spores found on the slide. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do with this information. The lab report can’t tell you key information, like:

  • the density of mold spores in the air
  • whether that density is considered hazardous
  • the cause of the excess mold growth

3. Mold Kits Are Time-Sensitive
The Petri dishes in most home kits contain a testing medium called agar. Agar is inexpensive and widely available, but it has a limited shelf life. Many DIY mold tests do not have an expiration date or a manufacturing date, and you have no way of knowing how long a kit has been sitting on a store shelf in Ashmont, MA.
The problems inherent in home mold testing kits have led trade groups and consumer advocacy organizations to discourage homeowners from using them. Even the best DIY kit is not a reliable substitute for professional mold testing.

3 Tips for Avoiding Cigarette Fires

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Mano sacando un cigarrillo, el culo de cigarrillo en el piso de concreto, cemento desnudo. Don't smoke indoors

Consider The Following Tips

If you or one of the residents in your home currently smokes, it's important to be informed on how to prevent a cigarette fire. After first checking with your local fire department in Dorchester, MA, for any pointers they might have, consider other tips, as well.

1. Don't Smoke Indoors
There are a surprising number of flammable materials in your home. Any type of fabric will burn easily, so, if an ashtray gets knocked over, a stray cinder could easily start an ashtray fire and severely damage your home. In addition to the risk of fires, smoke from cigarettes can also damage the fabrics in your home and cause them to smell bad. This smell is difficult to remove with conventional laundry detergent.

2. Wear Removeable Clothing
If you or a family member smokes, make sure to wear clothing that can be removed easily after smoking and before entering the home. A jacket or a hoodie would be a good choice. This way, any odors are likely to soak into the removable item, rather than being tracked in and soaking into your furniture or drapes. It's also wise to wash this removable clothing often, as the odor will build up in these garments.

3. Consider Professional Odor Removal
If someone has smoked in your home for a while, or if there has been a cigarette fire, it's time to consider calling in odor removal and fire damage specialist. Hiring a professional will ensure that your home is cleaned from top to bottom with the best equipment suited for the job. This thorough home cleaning can include your carpet, drapes, air ducts, upholstery, and more. There is equipment meant for every job, whether you need full fire cleanup or an odor removal detail.
With a conscientious mind and some knowledge, it is possible to prevent a cigarette fire before it happens.

Tips for Preventing Sewage Backup

7/31/2022 (Permalink)

Sewage water on the floor Sewage backup in Back Bay, MA

A regular flood can cause enough damage on its own, but a sewer flood is its own beast entirely. Sewage water is a Category 3 biohazard that can cause a lot of damage to your property. It's a good idea to take the proper precautions and prevent sewage backup before it occurs. These tips may benefit you if you believe that your home in Back Bay, MA, may be at risk.

Upgrade Your Drain

Investing in an upgrade for your drainage system is significantly less expensive and stressful than dealing with flooding and sewer cleaning. There are 4 main devices that you can choose from, based on your home's needs:

The Back Flow Prevention Valve: Also known as a backwater valve, this handy device reverses the flow of sewage to prevent the black water from flowing up into your basement.

The Overhead Sewer: This device is going to be a bit more costly than the others on this list. It works by collecting excess sewage and redirecting it into the building's main sewer line.

The Floor Drain Plug: On the other side of the coin is this neat little contraption. Floor drain plugs are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. They're installed directly beneath the drain and function by floating up to plug the drain hole when excess water begins to build. Once the water levels decrease, the drain is automatically unplugged.

The Standpipe: A standpipe is another device that works to redirect water flow, as opposed to blocking it. The pipe is installed sticking up out of the floor, hence the name. Any backup water that rises out of the drain is redirected into the pipe instead of flooding out onto the basement floor. If the water rises above the top of the standpipe, then the contraption won't work.

Storm damage and sewage backup are not to be taken lightly. Preventative methods can reduce your risk, but they won't provide 100% protection. Be sure to consult storm remediation experts if your home does experience a basement flood.

How To Handle an Overflowing Toilet

7/23/2022 (Permalink)

Clogged toilet, toilet paper on toilet bowl. A clogged toilet needs to be dealt with correctly to prevent sewer damage.

While toilets may get clogged or not function as they should from time to time, an overflowing toilet can pose a large issue, especially if dealing with a sewage backup. If sewage water enters your home in Boston, MA, it is labeled Category 3 water and needs to be considered an emergency since the bacteria, viruses, and microbes in the contaminated water can cause serious illness and harm to anyone who comes into contact with it. This situation warrants the help of a professional sewage cleanup and restoration company. Here is some useful information for dealing with toilet overflow and sewer damage.

Possible Causes of a Sewage Backup

While you should contact a sewage company whenever a backup occurs, there are several reasons sewage might make its way into your home:

  • Clogged or flooded toilet
  • Tree roots affecting sewer line
  • Damaged, worn, or clogged sewer line
  • Municipal sewer backup

How To Deal With a Clogged Toilet

While a clogged toilet is not an emergency in itself, it needs to be dealt with correctly to prevent sewer damage from occurring. Often, a small clog can be handled using a toilet plunger. You should prevent overflowing ahead of time by taking the lid off the tank and pushing the flapper down, which prevents water from entering the bowl. Then turn off the toilet’s main water supply. If a plunger doesn’t fix the clog, you can try using a toilet auger or snake to break up a clog in the drainage pipe. Sometimes, a plunger or auger won’t be enough to fix the issue and will need to be fixed by a professional plumber.

Since sewage backup is grossly contaminated and causes severe harm to any who consumes or comes into contact with it, you should always call a professional sewer damage cleanup company rather than try to clean up the mess yourself. Prevent a toilet overflow from occurring by knowing how to effectively handle clogs.

Fire Damage and Water Damage: How One Leads to the Other

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a big building Fire damage in Theatre District, MA.

Three Main Contributors to Fire and Water Damage

When business owners consider fire damage, they often think of charred structures and melted computer housings. Still, very few consider the extensive amount of water damage that can occur in fire rescue. To help you understand why such loss is inevitable, it is essential to review the main three contributors to such damage.

  1. Rescue Efforts
  2. Heat
  3. Suppression Systems

Rescue Efforts

Most water damage occurs as a result of rescue efforts. Firefighters use large, high volume, high-pressure hoses to dose the flames and extinguish the blaze. While some water likely dissipates from the excessive heat, most of it will remain on the floor, ceilings, walls, and cavities of the building, which means that you may want to hire a Theatre District, MA, fire restoration company to help mitigate further loss.

Heat

While it may seem counter-intuitive, heat can also lead to water and fire damage. Extreme temperatures can lead to bursts and broken pipes, which inevitably leads to significant flooding within the property. Therefore, it is often necessary to turn off the water supply to a building following a fire to reduce the risk of water loss.

Suppression Systems

Last, a fire hose and broken pipes are not the only contributors to excessive water buildup in a fire-damaged property. Often, the safety measures that are put in place, like a fire suppression system, can result in flooding as well. While many systems rely on foam or other chemicals, some systems are purely water-based. Also, while there are systems that can coordinate water release to only certain places in the building, other systems do not have such controls, which means that when one sprinkler is set off, all of them go off.
Water and fire damage often appear together after a blaze. However, it is necessary to understand that while such damage is frustrating, it is an essential part of rescue efforts, without which you may not have a commercial facility at all.

5 Benefits of an Electronic Claims Service

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

Tablet and cel phone. When you choose SERVPRO, you get the benefits of electronic claims services.

Five Advantages of Using an Electronic Claims Service

When remediation and restoration services are needed in Waterfront, MA, all parties involved want that insurance claim to be as uncomplicated as possible. When you choose SERVPRO, you get the benefits of electronic claims services. Below are five ways that service helps the claim from beginning to end.

1. Enhances Efficiency
Any insurance agent knows the massive amount of documents involved with any claim. Oftentimes, these documents must be seen by multiple people in multiple locations. Instead of having to mail them, you get the freedom to the information with a few clicks. All authorized people can view the documents and submit changes if needed. This may include uploading photos of damaged items or changing the estimate of damage.

2. Accessible to All Parties
Since all information related to the claim is in one location, everyone involved can easily find what they are looking for. This information can be accessed from anywhere, which further ensures that everyone is on the same page throughout the process.

3. Ensures Insurance Claim Accuracy
By storing data in a digital format, you get the peace of mind that the information is up-to-date and accurate. Instead of having a paper trail to file, which may or may not have been filed correctly, you get instant access to real-time information.

4. A Secure Method
Electronic claims eradicate the need for a large paper trail, which may easily be misplaced or missing documents. Since all the photos, insurance information, estimates, timelines and other related information are saved in an encrypted file and backed up, it eliminates the potential for misplaced claims.

5. More Convenient
Whether you want to double-check something or want to check the progress of the process, electronic claims make that easy and convenient. They can be accessed from any device and any location.
Everyone involved wants the insurance claim process to be as smooth as possible. Choosing a provider with electronic claims helps make that happen.

Flood Safety Before, During and After the Flood

6/20/2022 (Permalink)

Flashlight, portable radio, batteries, water bottles and a first aid kit Keep a well-stocked emergency kit ready.

Flood Safety

Flood safety is largely a matter of preparation and staying calm. If a storm surge or other weather event strikes Chinatown, MA here's a quick rundown of useful safety tips to keep in mind.

What To Do Before the Flood
If you have the opportunity to be ready for rising water, use that to your advantage. Deploy any sandbags or other barriers you have.
At a minimum, keep a well-stocked emergency kit ready that includes the following:

  • Enough food and water for at least three days
  • Medicine for at least three days
  • Flashlights
  • First-aid kit
  • Blankets
  • Radio
  • Batteries
  • Pet food, toys, and medicine

Be advised that homeowners insurance doesn't include flood insurance, either. Knowing your flood risk in Chinatown, MA, and talking with your insurance agent are two simple ways to protect your home as well.

Flood Safety During the Event Itself
Move to the highest ground possible. If the local government tells you to leave, leave.
If you're at home during a flood, stay inside and away from the water. The NWS reports that as few as 6 inches of water is enough to topple an adult. Inside the home, if the water in a room rises above the electrical outlets, stay out of that room.
It's important to remain up to date on what's happening, too. Use that radio in your emergency kit, as well as social media and local TV if you still have access.

Handling the Aftermath
Many of the same tips hold true after a flood: Most importantly, stay away from the water and keep yourself informed. Call a flood damage mitigation company to start the restoration process right away, and leave the handling of all soggy materials to the experts. Flood water is typically contaminated. Remember that flood waters can affect the structural elements of your home, too, so proceed with caution, especially if you've been away.
Flood safety is an area of knowledge most people hope they never have to call on. Being prepared, however, is one of your best defenses against Mother Nature.

How To Save Your Electronics After a Fire

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

External drive connected to a computer Keep computer files backed up on an external hard drive or cloud in case of fire damage.

How To Save Your Electronics After a Fire

After a house fire has hit your  North End, MA, home, working with a professional restoration company will help you navigate the rebuilding process. Keep in mind that flames and soot not only affected the structure of your home but also your belongings. A crucial step in fire cleanup is restoring your electronic devices that have been exposed to smoke.

Restoring Damaged Electronics
The most important step in electronic fire cleanup is to leave your equipment powered off until it has been properly cleaned. If you don’t turn on an electronic device that has been affected by smoke, it can’t short-circuit or overheat. You can wipe away any residue on the outside of your device. Otherwise, trust the professionals to clean and inspect your electronics. 
Restoration companies can revitalize the following devices:

  • Computers
  • TVs
  • DVD players
  • Gaming systems

Understanding the Effects of Smoke Damage
Smoke covers your electronics with a highly acidic residue. Unless properly cleaned off, the acid in the soot will disintegrate the inner workings of your devices. Corrosion leads to premature electronic failure. Furthermore, the soot leaves a black film on your electronics, adding a layer of insulation that can make them overheat if turned on.

Protecting Your Devices
Take preventative measures to minimize the impact of smoke and soot on your devices. Invest in a backup storage program for your desktop or laptop computer that stores your information and photographs in a safe place. You can upload your data to the cloud or keep virtual copies of important documents online with free or paid software.
As you restore your home after a fire, remember to take care of your electronics as well. Following the proper steps prevents the loss of information and your devices. Let the professionals help you through the fire cleanup process and get your home back.

How Can I Avoid Residential Lightning Fires?

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning thunderstorm flash over the sky. A thunderstorm can harm you even inside your home.

How Can I Prevent Lightning Fires in My Home?

Even if your South End, MA, house shelters you during a thunderstorm, it can still be vulnerable to lighting fire. The electric system, the metal pipes and other components inside the building not only conduct electricity but are connected to devices that can overheat and burn. You can reduce the probability of discharges affecting your home with these tactics.

Get a Grounding System
The electric energy generated by a powerful storm will always seek a path of low resistance toward the ground. You can exploit this occurrence by setting up a grounding system that includes:

  • Copper/aluminum lightning rod
  • Main conductor
  • Ground
  • Bonded metal components

These parts ensure that the system safely transfers the energy from the strike to the ground with no disturbance. This structure improves the safety of your property and can even earn you some insurance credit.

Avoid Using Electricity and Water
Using plugged electronics during a storm can sometimes result in a lighting fire. The storm's discharge might use the building's electrical wiring system as its path, creating a power surge that can devastate any active device. Additionally, it can also travel through the metallic plumbing system that transports water. Anyone using them can get shocked or accidentally start a fire. People at home should not use electronics and unplug them immediately. They should also avoid using showers and sinks until the storm stops.

Invest in a Surge Suppressor
While powering down and disconnecting electronics is the best way to diminish the impact of a lightning strike, it can be time-consuming and difficult. You also may not be home on time to do so. You can counter this power surge by installing a transient voltage surge suppressor. When the excess energy overwhelms your system, the suppressor will limit the voltage to just slightly higher than average. It can prevent electrical damage and a house fire until you can manually unplug the devices.
A thunderstorm can harm you even inside your home. Consider these strategies to reduce the possibility of lighting fire and contact storm damage restoration if necessary.