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Your Guide to Roof Repair After Hail and Heavy Winds Damage Your Shingles

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

Close up view of bitumen shingles roof damage that needs repair. Roof damaged due to high winds in South Boston, MA.

Your Roof Repair Guide After Hail and Strong Winds Damage Your Shingles

Everyone loves a good end-of-summer storm, but when the nights grow cooler and the winds grow stronger, those nice summer storms turn into damaging tempests. Hail, heavy winds and torrential rains may be exciting to watch from within, but they're harmful to a home's structure. If your roof was recently the victim of hail and wind damage, you may be able to get away with a small roof repair—or you may be forced to invest in roof replacement. A quality inspection can give you an indication of which you will need:

  • Have your roof tested to determine its existing condition and life expectancy.
  • Have a moisture survey of your roof done.
  • Let a professional roofer assess the extent of the damage—is it just a patch or it is the entire roof?
  • Request a weather impact condition report to see if your roof was even subject to the hail.

When searching for a roofing company, make sure that it offers each of the above services.

A Quality Inspection Is Key

Roof repair goes beyond patching a damaged area and calling it a day. If you want to ensure that your roof lasts for years into the future, and if you want to preserve the structural integrity of your home, you need to make sure that the company you hire actually fixes the issue and doesn't just cover it.

Each of the tests listed above is performed to measure the reliability of your roof's remaining materials. The last thing you want to do is pay thousands of dollars to have your roof re-shingled only to discover that the core of the roof damage lies along the deck. If that were to happen, you would be forced to remove the shingles you paid thousands of dollars to have installed, rip up the deck, reinstall a new deck and reinstall the shingles—a process which would cost you an additional good sum of money.

If your home has extensive roof damage because of hail and heavy winds, request a quality inspection before investing in roof repair. Talk to your South Boston, MA, storm damage restoration team about the importance of a quality inspection.

How to Be Proactive about Plumbing Issues in Your Commercial Business

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

Technician with water extraction vacuum inside a commercial business. Commercial water extraction in Seaport, MA.

Plumbing Issues in Your Commercial Business

A broken pipe or cracked water main can be significant plumbing problems for business owners; however, while the plumbing issues can be detrimental for a property, the level of stress and pressure on the business owner can also present risks. It is better to manage property effectively and properly to minimize the chances of one of these major catastrophes.

1. Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is one of the most important things a building owner can do to protect their property, the tenants, and employees. Preventative maintenance refers to the routine inspection of plumbing, sprinklers, pumps, and drains. While the inspection schedule for any of these items may vary, you may want to aim for at least one full-scale inspection per year.

2. Fix Minor Issues Before They Become Major Ones

While performing preventative maintenance is a wonderful prevention tool, it means nothing if issues are discovered and not addressed. The whole point in performing inspections is to find and resolve issues while they are still small, as opposed to waiting until the issue manifests into plumbing problems that can temporarily close down the business. Fixing these minor issues before they become major ones is just good business sense.

3. Find Backup You Can Count On

As being proactive about plumbing issues involves routine maintenance, it may be in your best interest to find a plumbing specialist in the Seaport, MA, area that you can rely on and trust. You may want to speak with several companies and individuals before deciding because, as you will likely be doing business together for years to come, you want to feel comfortable in your decision.

Plumbing problems pose a significant concern for most business owners because of the expense and potential recovery time; however, if owners can commit to performing annual inspections and fixing small issues before they become substantial issues, then they may not have to spend too much time worrying about their potential risk.

Using the Right Protective Equipment for Mold Cleanup

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Dehumidifier and air mover placed in an empty room, drywall removed Mold damage in Back Bay, MA.

Once mold has been discovered in a home in Back Bay, MA, it is best to have it cleaned as soon as possible. A mold remediation specialist should be able to come in, evaluate the situation and provide the best solution for cleanup. An experienced cleanup company should also have all the correct protective equipment, such as face masks or goggles and gloves.

What Causes Mold

Mold is everywhere, and it is almost impossible to remove completely. That being said, there are several factors that can lead to having a mold problem.

  • Moisture
  • Damp items not being dried timely
  • Leaking plumbing
  • High humidity indoors
  • Flooding

How Mold Is Cleaned

Left untreated, mold damage can cause irreparable harm to the surface it’s on. The cleanup process is not complicated and needs to start with the source of moisture or humidity being removed. The area then needs to be dried out as thoroughly as possible. Hard surfaces should be scrubbed clean using proper cleaners. Softer items can be washed when possible, or if there is significant damage, they can be taken to a professional to get advice on cleaning and restoration. Materials like carpet and drywall may need to be replaced, as they are absorbent, and it can be very difficult to remove mold from these items.

Why Wear Protective Equipment and What Should You Wear

Face masks should be worn to avoid breathing in mold spores, and long gloves can protect bare skin from coming into contact with the mold and cleaning agents being used. Gloves also help avoid transferring spores from one surface to the other when they are removed and disposed of properly. N-95 respirators are the face masks recommended for use during this process.

Although mold can seem like an insurmountable challenge to overcome, it can be cleaned and items restored to the best condition possible. Using the proper protective equipment can help allow the situation to be remediated completely, which can lessen the chance of another mold outbreak.

What To Know About Household Items and Mold

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth in the attic of one home. If you suspect you have a mold damage problem, Call SERVPRO.

What You Should Know About Mold and Household Items

Mold damage has become one of the most talked about subjects for homeowners and insurance companies in Boston, MA. Left neglected, the expense for mold remediation can be very costly. In extreme cases, a home may need to be completely gutted or torn down.

Items at Risk

Which household items are subject to mold growth? The short answer is everything. Almost anything that is porous, organic or in a high-humidity environment can become a host to mold. For example, the following items are all potential residential mold breeding grounds:

  1. Organics, food and plants
  2. Wood
  3. Drywall
  4. Carpet
  5. Upholstery
  6. Clothing
  7. Flooring and tiling
  8. Linens

This list is far from exhaustive. Left to its own, mold could quickly take over a home and everything in it.

Control and Treatment

The two main keys for inhibiting mildew growth are controlling temperature and humidity levels in the home. Many molds are relatively easy to clean and control. Food that has begun to mold should be discarded. Clothing that has become moldy should be laundered. If the mold persists, the item should be tossed. Some molds can be removed by properly cleaning and sanitizing the item at risk.

More serious molds may need professional attention. If you suspect you have a mold damage problem, a mold remediation specialist should be consulted. With the proper tools and equipment, the specialist should be able to tell you what type of mold is present and how it should be treated. This is especially important if your home has experienced water damage of any kind. Sources of water damage can range from a leaky pipe to flood damage or sewer backup.

The good news is that cases of serious mold damage are relatively rare. As more is learned about treating and preventing mold, these cases should continue to decrease in number. Attention to climate control and addressing any displaced water immediately can also assist in this area.

Protecting Your Home in the Aftermath of a Flood

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Three workers working in a wall of a home Storm restoration services in Boston, MA.

After a Flood, How Can You Protect Your Home?

It is natural to want to get the ball rolling on cleanup after your home in Boston, MA has received flood damage. However, it is often said that it is best to wait until an adjuster has come to assess the damage so that you can make an accurate claim on your flood insurance policy. Let common sense be your guide to decide between waiting and acting in the aftermath of a storm.

Document the Damage

Once a devastating storm clears, insurance adjusters will be extremely busy, and it may be difficult to obtain an appointment. However, to protect your home from further harm such as mold damage, it is important to act quickly. Once you have contacted your insurer to begin the claims process, protect yourself with documentation.

• Take lots of digital photographs and/or video of all damaged structures and belongings before clean up, removal, or restoration.
• Compile a list of all damaged items and their value, and organize any receipts you have retained. Your credit card company can help with this.
• Keep receipts for any professional remediation services, materials purchased, or dump fees as a result of the flood.
• The adjuster will help you prepare a proof of loss document to be filed with your flood insurance company.

Begin the Cleanup

While you wait for the adjuster to complete the inspection of the destruction you have thoroughly documented, there are things you can do to minimize further damage. Experts suggest the following:

• Pump, mop, and blot excess water.
• Remove and dry furniture and loose items.
• Remove valuables and safely store them.
• Circulate the air by using fans and/or air conditioners if it is safe to use electricity.

Waiting for a response on your flood insurance claim will require patience. Take action to reclaim your home, and be sure to document your efforts.

3 Tips for Space Heater Safety

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Space heater Plug the heating unit into its own outlet to avoid overheating.

3 Safety Recommendations For The Use of A Space Heater

Freezing air outside in North End, MA makes you long for a warm, toasty atmosphere inside of your home. Warming yourself near a space heater feels good, but is it a smart choice? A burned space heater is one of the top causes of residential fires, particularly during the winter months. Learn how to safely use a space heater by following the three tips below.

1. What Kind To Buy

Space heaters come with options for safety features, such as an automatic shutoff if the unit overheats or tips over. Look for an independent safety certification label, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Ensure the appliance has a sturdy cord that is at least 6 feet in length.

2. Where To Place It

Place the heater on a hard surface, such as the floor. Do not place it in a child’s bedroom or play area or in a garage where incendiary materials are stored. Use the 3-foot distance rule for children, pets, walls, bedding, curtains and furniture. Allow this distance from flammable fabrics to prevent a burned space heater from setting fire to your home.

3. How To Care for It

Plug the heating unit into its own outlet to avoid overheating. Never use an extension cord or place the appliance near water. When you retire to bed for the evening or leave the room, even for a few minutes, turn off the space heater. Remove it from the outlet by holding the plug, never the cord. If the cord is damaged, discontinue use. If the unit has filters, change them regularly.

Follow the above safety tips at your home in [City, State], to avoid a burned space heater. Always remember to practice general fire safety as well. Install and maintain at least one functioning smoke detector at every level of your house, especially near the bedrooms and kitchen. Have an escape plan in case of a fire. If a fire occurs, execute your plan to get your family to safety. For soot and smoke cleanup, contact a fire restoration specialist.

3 Steps for Preparing for Mold Remediation

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

A man putting a plastic barrier in a property. Concept of mold containment Mold containment in Theatre District, MA.

Mold Remediation Process

There are many misconceptions about mold, making it difficult for property owners to understand how long the process should take and how to budget for the work. For example, many people don't understand that mold exists everywhere. Spores get into buildings through open doors, ventilation systems, and on clothing. Consider the following facts about mold:

  • Spores are microscopic and can't be completely removed from a building.
  • Moist and mildly humid conditions promote mold growth.
  • Mold removal (or remediation) begins by identifying areas of moisture and correcting those issues.
  • Black mold, or stachybotrys chartarum, isn't always toxic. However, when you find any type of mold in your building, you should stay away from that area without disturbing the mold.

With these facts in mind, take the following steps when preparing for mold remediation. Many Theatre District, MA, businesses have built these steps into their maintenance protocols to avoid costly repairs in the future.

1. Learn how moisture gets into your buildings. Before you call a mold removal professional, you can begin resolving this problem by finding the source of moisture. This often requires visually inspecting your entire property. If mold has spread throughout your building, the source of the problem may be pretty far from the initial source of moisture. Professionals will also want to inspect the source of trouble to prevent future mold growth.

2. Make a record of the problem. Insurance companies in Theatre District, MA, often require proof of mold before agreeing to pay for remediation. Your written records and photos of the area could also be used by professionals when they plan their remediation efforts. Your records may also be used to determine the extent of the problem.

3. Plan for three to seven days of remediation work. The mold removal process typically includes the same steps:

  • Resolving the water problem
  • Isolating areas of mold contamination
  • Misting contaminated areas to control dust
  • Removing and disposing of damaged materials
  • Thoroughly cleaning and drying infected areas
  • Replacing removed materials

These steps can effectively address mold issues. After the area has been cleared by professionals, you can safely begin using that part of your property again.

Insured: How To Know You Are Covered in a Flood

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Basement flood

Your homeowners' policy is likely designed to take care of accidents that were unable to be foreseen. While it can secure against most of the things that can go wrong with your home in North End, MA, you may need additional insurance for certain issues. Sometimes your basement flood can be covered, and sometimes it cannot.

What Isn't Covered?

There are several things your homeowners' policy probably doesn't insure:

  • Flood damage
  • Issues resulting from negligence or improper maintenance
  • Backup of municipal sewer lines
  • Repair of the flood's source

You may have to purchase additional insurance coverage for some of these issues. The cost of some of the repairs, however, such as repairs done by restoration professionals for problems caused by poor maintenance, will probably have to be paid out of pocket.

What Is Covered?

If the accident that causes the damage is sudden and unavoidable, such as a water heater that breaks and causes a basement flood, your homeowners' policy will probably protect you. If your floor or a wall needs to be replaced, your dwelling insurance can take care of it. If items are ruined in the flood, the personal property clause in the policy can help you pay for their replacement after the deductible is met.

What Additional Protection Is Needed?

If you experience frequent flooding in North End, MA, it is a good idea to purchase flood insurance. Water backup coverage can help you when your basement is flooded by a backed-up sewer line or a clogged pipe outside your home. Talk to your insurance agent about other options that may be helpful for you to have to protect your home.

If a sudden accident causes a basement flood, a lot of the damage is probably insured by your homeowners' policy. Some special circumstances might require further coverage, though. It is important to make sure you understand your policy and have the right one in place before a problem occurs.

What You Need To Know About Puff Backs

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Old dirty brickwork in soot Puff back damage in Chinatown, MA.

What Is a Puff Back?

Having a modern, up-to-date furnace in your Chinatown, MA, home can make life a lot easier, but at the end of the day, you could still be dealing with some serious issues resulting from a variety of malfunctions. That’s because even the best furnaces are still prone to dirt and dust buildup, which often leads to small disasters known as puff backs. A puff back

  • Involves a small explosion inside of your furnace or boiler
  • Tends to occur more commonly in oil-fired heating systems
  • Usually leads to widespread soot and smoke damage in a home

Causes

Generally, these issues are due to a malfunction in the furnace or heating system itself. Of course, the malfunction could be caused by a wide range of issues, such as a clogged filter or failing fan. Lack of maintenance appears to be the leading cause of issues leading up to puff backs of all types.

Varying Severity Levels

In some lucky cases, a puff back only causes minor damage to the furnace or heating system in question and is fairly quick and inexpensive to repair. However, other incidents, especially those from oil-fired systems, tend to be much larger and can spread soot, smoke and debris across all corners of a home in an instant. This not only leads to a potentially lengthy smoke cleaning process but can cause significant damage to the heating unit, requiring a full replacement in some cases.

Best Ways To Avoid Puff Backs

The best way to avoid this problem in your own home is to have your furnace, boiler or other heating system inspected annually by a certified professional. They have the know-how needed to diagnose any issues and can give maintenance recommendations that reduce the likelihood of an explosion occurring. Otherwise, regularly changing your filters is a step in the right direction.

Understanding the basics of the average puff back can help you prepare your home against the threat, so you can enjoy your central heating in peace.

What To Do When Your Business Loses Power

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

WiFi symbol on smartphone screen with button to connect to wireless internet, close-up of hand holding mobile phone, computer 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 Waterfront, 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.