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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.

How Do Puffbacks Happen?

12/31/2020 (Permalink)

soot web Soot webs happen, SERVPRO is here to help after a puffback.

Puffback and Soot Damage

Puffback damage occurs when a furnace misfires, causing a small explosion inside the chamber of the furnace. In a best-case scenario, the mess will be confined to the furnace area. In extreme cases, the heavy, sticky, grime can be caked on just about any surface, including curtains and the insides of closets and drawers. If you have experienced soot from a furnace puffback in Boston, MA, you will need to have your furnace repaired and the area properly assessed and cleaned.

Assess the Damage

At first glance, the soot may look like a fine, dusty powder that can easily be cleaned. However, the puffback from an oil furnace is anything but easy to remove. Instead, it is a thick, gooey substance that is difficult to get off surfaces. Since failed attempts to clean it can cause more damage to your items, you should not attempt to clean it yourself. If you suspect puffback damage, you can begin to assess the extent of the problem by checking areas for soot:

  • The furnace chamber
  • Inside the ventilation system and ductwork
  • Obvious areas such as floors, walls, and carpeting
  • Less obvious areas like inside drawers and file cabinets

Be sure to check inside each room that is connected to the HVAC system.

How To Restore the Area

Regardless of the extent of the damage, you will need to hire an HVAC technician to check, clean, repair, or replace your furnace. If damage has occurred outside of the oil furnace itself, the soot will be too difficult to remove on your own. The best course of action is to enlist the help of a professional restoration company to properly clean and deodorize the different surface types.

If you have a misfiring furnace that causes puffback damage, rest assured that the problem is only temporary and can be fixed with the right equipment. A professional remediation company like SERVPRO of Boston Downtown/Back Bay/South Boston can help with furnace repairs and restoring the area to its previous condition.

5 Steps To Take When Dealing With a Burst Water Pipe

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Background of a pipe burst with the word PIPE BURST COVERED A pipe burst in Financial District, MA

There are many cruel fates that can befall a Financial District, MA, home in the wintertime, but the most common peril that causes an insurance claim is the dreaded bursting of a frozen pipe.

Here Are The Five Steps To Take If It Happens To You

1. Turn off the Water Supply
If water is still cascading into the home, make sure to shut off the water supply. If you happen to know where the valve is for the pipe that’s leaking, you can start there. Otherwise, turn off the water main to the home to prevent further flooding.

2. File an Insurance Claim
Damage from burst pipes can turn catastrophic almost instantly. Once you’ve stopped the immediate flow, you’ll need to give your homeowner's insurance company a call to file a claim. Your adjuster will walk you through the process and explain possible coverages.

3. Document Everything
Take as many pictures as you can of things like wet carpets, saturated furniture, and any other personal property damaged in the flood that you need to remove. Keep a careful record of whatever you take out of the home to make sure you’re properly indemnified.

4. Call the Experts To Clean It Up
A house full of water is not a cleanup job for amateurs. Make sure you hire a reputable company experienced in the water restoration process to properly dry out the area affected by the pipe burst and prevent further damage.

5. Winterize the Other Pipes
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Before an unexpected disaster befalls your home again, make sure pipes are well-insulated and that any outdoor water lines like sprinkler systems and pool filtration pipes are always drained and properly winterized. This way, you'll avoid another insurance claim and the headache that goes along with it.
Winter weather can be beautiful and serene, but not when it causes a flood in your home. Knowing the steps to take when it does happen can help you handle the disaster if it does.

How to Know If Your Liability Insurance Policy Covers Mold Exposure

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Workers installing plastic covers inside a building. Concept of mold containment Mold containment in Back Bay, MA

Understand What It Covers

As a business owner in Back Bay, MA, you keep all of your insurance policies up-to-date. Even still, there are those unusual situations that give you pause: does my insurance actually cover that? You know that your general liability insurance covers slips and falls and property damage at a client's home, among other things, but what about mold exposure? Mold insurance claims can be tricky because mold is usually associated with water damage or a construction problem and therefore often falls under various exclusions in your coverage. It's unnerving if you don't know exactly what's covered versus what you might be responsible for. Here's what to look for in your general liability insurance policy to understand what it covers.


Common exclusions in your insurance policy include pollution exclusions and "business risk" exclusions. A mold claim doesn't have a guaranteed outcome because mold hasn't been consistently classified as a pollutant. There's a lot of variation between states when it comes to deciding whether mold falls under the pollution exclusion. Coverage is consistently denied to contractors if the claim is a result of defective workmanship unless the damage done by defective work has been incorporated into an existing building. How confusing!


Due to a lack of consistency surrounding mold insurance claims, many insurance companies have added endorsements to general liability policies that definitely exclude mold claims or at least limit coverage. One endorsement excludes mold remediation under all circumstances. However, since most mold is a direct result of water damage, which is covered, it's still not entirely clear how this endorsement impacts a mold claim.

Additional Policies

You can buy an additional policy that does cover mold; the challenge is that these policies are still fairly limited unless you're willing to pay a high premium.
The bottom line is that mold insurance claims are tricky because there is so little consistency surrounding coverage. Each time you renew, be on the lookout for changes to your policy to protect you and your business.

4 Things Business Owners Should Do To Prepare for a Winter Storm

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Word writing text Time To Plan. Have a plan

Four Steps To Protect Your Establishment

As a child, a winter storm meant snow days filled with hot cocoa and snowmen. The school was canceled, and everyone was forced to spend the day together, enjoying the cold, fluff falling from the sky. As a business owner, that weather isn't as pleasant. It could mean devastation to the company, possibly harming the building's integrity. Proper steps should be taken to protect the establishment. The following are four things to consider before heading home to watch the snowflakes fall.

1. Schedule Inspections
Storm damage affects multiple aspects of the building. Before the season starts, complete assessments of the major structures. An expert should evaluate the roof, looking for holes, missing shingles or problems with the flashing. Patch any openings to avoid water exposure. In addition, low temperatures impact the pipes, freezing them or causing cracks. A pipe burst is a mess that ruins the premises. A plumber may have advice on how to best insulate the lines.

2. Trim Foliage
The wind and snow knock tree limbs down, making broken windows and roofing a possibility during a winter storm. Take the time to cut back branches. Avoid having anything too close to the business.

3. Have a Plan
Review insurance paperwork, understanding how to manage any complications that may arise. Find a disaster restoration company in South Boston, MA, that specializes in water remediation cleanup, and divide responsibilities among workers. Someone should be in charge of monitoring the property, reporting back to others about what trouble occurs or whether operations may begin again.

4. Have Appropriate Supplies
Be ready to get started with cleanup as soon as possible. Have shovels and ice on hand, available to remove excess development. Have trash bags, gloves and disinfecting materials. Designate employees to work inside, putting the store back together. Other might work on the perimeter, scoping out any damage.
Get ahead of the winter storm. Be aware of what can happen, and know how to tackle it head on.