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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.

3 Reasons Why Your Building Needs Fire Insurance

5/21/2022 (Permalink)

Warehouse Fire Inside Fire damage in Financial District, MA.

Protect Your Building Against The Risk Of a Fire

Many business owners struggle to manage the expensive premiums they pay on various insurance policies. You may wonder if you really need all the coverage you are paying for.
In the case of fire insurance for your building, reducing or declining coverage is a risky and potentially catastrophic decision. Protecting against the risk of fire is a necessary step every business in Financial District, MA should take. 

1. Fires Can Happen to Any Business
Fires can stem from any number of sources, including heating equipment, cooking appliances, electrical components and lighting. 
No matter what kind of equipment your building contains, the smoke and flames from a fire can spread rapidly and damage property that is essential to the operation of your business.

2. Fire Expenses Without Insurance Can Be Devastating
Although the immediate damage to property is obvious, the financial damage from a fire is not limited to the initial blaze. Materials used in fighting fire, such as foam and water, also damage property.
In the event of a fire, the expenses add up quickly. If you have not obtained adequate coverage, your business may need to pay for fire restoration and smoke cleanup without financial assistance.

3. Fire Insurance Helps Your Business Maintain Financial Goals
The best way to move forward with confidence is to make sure that you have accounted for the various risks associated with owning a business. An uninsured fire has the potential to wreak havoc on your business's finances, and you may even struggle to maintain essential business operations in the aftermath of a fire.
Having fire insurance goes a long way in protecting your finances and providing peace of mind. A fire is something you hope never happens, but maintaining the right coverage allows you to manage the risk and take control of your business's financial future.

Steps to Filing a Flood Claim

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

Flood water in a home level of water reaches the stairs Flood damage in Seaport, MA.

How to Make a Flood Claim

If a storm has caused flooding and water damage in your home in Seaport, MA, and you have insurance, you should file a flood claim as soon as possible. Processing a claim can take a little while, but you should not wait to minimize the damage to your home.

1. Call and Start the Flood Claim Process
One of the first things you should do is call your insurance company and report the storm damage. The person on the phone will let you know what you need to do to begin your insurance claim and prepare for the adjuster's inspection.

2. Start the Cleanup Process
After a large storm, insurance companies are extremely busy because many people are dealing with damage. It may take a few days for the inspection of your property to occur, but you should start cleaning up to prevent further damage and mold.
You can do some things yourself, like open doors and windows to increase ventilation and put towels down on the carpet. However, you should also call flood restoration specialists because they know how to mitigate damage and restore items that do not have to be thrown out.

3. Document Losses for the Inspection
Prepare for the inspection by documenting damage and losses. Take videos and pictures, especially before throwing anything away. The more documentation you have, the better your chances are of being reimbursed.

4. Keep All Receipts Related to Flood Restoration
During the cleanup and restoration process, keep track of all expenses to hand over to your adjuster. Have the restoration company give you an initial estimation, and keep receipts related to the cleanup efforts.
A flood can cause a lot of damage to your home. Whether you have standing water, or your items are wet from the receding waters, you should file a flood claim and do it properly for the best outcome.

Ensuring Smoother Damage Claims for All Parties

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed on drywall We can get your business back up and running.

All Parties Benefit from Smoother Damage Claims

When a commercial property in South Boston, MA, is faced with mold, water or fire damage, getting back to normal doesn’t have to be a confusing and complicated process. Although a large loss may require time for a certified mediation and restoration company to complete, choosing the right one makes the claim process smoother for the property owner and insurance adjuster.

Trusted Claims Services

When choosing SERVPRO, all parties get peace of mind that they are working with an established, certified company that has the expertise to complete the restoration and established procedures to ensure the insurance claim avoids unexpected bumps in the road.

Itemized Inventory: An itemized list of all losses is provided in a detailed report that includes photos.
Claims Information Center: This is an online, one-stop shop for all aspects of the project. It includes a job file with vital, up-to-date information such as to estimate details, related paperwork, pending and completed jobs, cost data and performance comparison.
Trained Professionals: While the details are important for the client and insurance adjuster, so is that knowing trained, certified professionals are completing the work. All franchise technicians adhere to IICRC standards and complete ongoing training.

A Support Network
While the work is being completed, the technicians are backed by an extensive support network. The Customer Care Center works to promptly handle claims, implement best practices and maintain a strong relationship with national accounts. From filing documentation to providing any necessary documentation, it is dedicated to making the entire process go as smoothly as possible. That network also includes reliance on 1,700 franchises across the United States and Canada. No matter where a large loss happens, 24/7 help is available to respond to an emergency.
When damage happens, the client is focused on getting back to business and the insurance adjuster is focused on the numbers and ensuring the claim is done right. Getting help from the right restoration professional makes it easier to achieve both and get the situation back to “Like it never even happened.”

How To Check for Moldy Air Ducts

4/15/2022 (Permalink)

Clean air duct After cleaning microbial growth in ducts

How To Check For Mold

Mold is present everywhere. Outdoors, it's safe and natural; indoors, it can be problematic. One area of your business in Back Bay, MA, that may have escaped your mold prevention efforts is your HVAC system. Mold readily grows in moist environments, and the ductwork, drip pans, and coils of your heating and cooling system could provide the ideal climate for mold growth. Here are a few ways to check for mold during your monthly HVAC cleaning regimen.

1. Follow your nose

A musty or mildew smell is often one of the first signs of mold growth. If you notice a moldy odor, turn off your HVAC system for a little while. If the smell dissipates when the system is off but comes back as soon as you turn it on, you likely have mold growing somewhere in the air ducts or drip pans. While it may be tempting to clean all of the parts that you can teach yourself, there are parts of an HVAC system that could be damaged by improper mold cleanup methods, so leave the HVAC cleaning to a pro.

2. Trust your eyes

Plan time for a regular visual inspection of the accessible elements of your heating and cooling system. Are there signs of mold growth? A blocked drain, pooling water, or condensation on the exterior of your air ducts could all be signs of potential mold growth.

3. Call a professional

Whether you see signs of mold or think you smell it, the best thing to do is call a mold remediation specialist to complete a thorough assessment. They will have a plan for cleaning vents, drain pans, and coils. They can also provide tips and strategies for preventing future mold problems.
Regular HVAC cleaning and maintenance will help to prevent most mold problems. However, if you think that your HVAC system could have mold, hiring a professional to complete a thorough assessment is the best bet for proper remediation.

How Can I Protect My Building From Hail?

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Regularly inspecting your roof will help prevent damage during a storm.

Prevent Roof Damage From Hail

While flooding and wind damage might be the first things you think of after a storm in Boston, MA, hail damage can happen, and it can be severe. As you think of ways to protect your property from storm damage, consider taking steps to prevent roof damage from hail.

Inspect Your Roof

Maintaining and regularly inspecting your roof will keep it in good shape, helping prevent damage during a storm. Check the following areas:

  • Decking
  • Gutters
  • Drainage pipes
  • Flashing
  • Vents
  • Surface membranes

Roof damage can lead to water in your attic, wet insulation and other secondary damage that may require the help of a commercial restoration company.

Protect HVAC Systems

HVAC equipment is sometimes mounted on the roof of a commercial property. If yours is roof-mounted, check to see if it is designed to withstand hail impact. If not, you can install wire mesh, hail guards, or other protection to shield your equipment. Hail guards are designed to protect from hail impact and may also be resistant to rot and UV rays as well as corrosion and abrasion. If you use hail guards, they should also be designed to withstand uplift pressures.

Use Impact-Resistant Skylights and Solar Panels

If you use solar panels, be sure they are designed to the standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission or IEC. The IEC code requires solar panels to meet a certain impact test rating to their standards.
Similarly, if you have skylights, they should also meet impact standards and building codes in your area. If you know ahead of time that there is a chance of hail, you can cover your skylights with plywood, a storm shutter or a metal cap to prevent hail damage. Regular inspections will help keep your skylight in good shape.
Maintenance and planning before a hail storm in Boston, MA, can go a long way in preventing roof damage to your commercial property.

3 Ways To Prevent Mold in a Rental Property

3/20/2022 (Permalink)

water stain on ceiling Ceiling damaged by water in Theatre District, MA.

Ways To Keep Your Property Mold- Free

As a landlord, you know that mold prevention is important for both you and your tenants. You should encourage your renters to limit mold growth by immediately drying wet clothes and regularly cleaning the bathrooms. However, there are other steps you can take to keep your Theatre District, MA, property mold-free as well.

1. Install Exhaust Fans

Kitchens and bathrooms typically contain lots of moisture. This is why they are common locations for mold. You can install exhaust fans in these rooms to keep them dry. If your tenants frequently use their kitchens, you may also want to purchase hoods that suck up any excess grease and moisture during the cooking process.

2. Reduce Humidity

Even everyday humidity in the air can cause mold to grow. A dehumidifier is thus a good mold prevention tool. You can also buy a hygrometer to monitor the humidity level in your building and make sure it remains between 30% and 50%.

3. Regularly Check for Leaks

Even a small leak in your property can cause water damage to the floors or walls. The water may also encourage the growth of mildew or mold.
Unfortunately, leaks often occur in hidden locations. By the time you notice a leak, it may have already caused major harm. You should perform regular inspections of each unit. Be sure to check under the sink and radiator, as these are common sites of undetected mold growth.
You can even give each tenant a smart detector that notifies you if a leak occurs. Once you do discover the leak, have the problem fixed right away. You may also want to call mold remediation specialists to make sure any small patches of the fungus near the leak are removed immediately.
Neither you nor your tenants want mold to grow in your property. You should work with your renters to enact mold prevention strategies.

How Do You Remove the Smoke Odors After a Fire?

3/16/2022 (Permalink)

soot on wood surface Soot damage in Waterfront, MA.

The fire and water damage, and destruction that occurs during a fire, can be devastating, but with help from a professional fire restoration service in Waterfront, MA, you can find some peace of mind in the aftermath. You may realize that flames and water can both do harm, but smoke damage and residual odors can also be a problem, so careful smoke cleaning needs to be undertaken.

Are Smoke and Soot the Same Thing?

A fire can cause a good deal of soot damage and smoke. Soot is primarily composed of carbon and other chemicals that have not been completely consumed by flames. It leaves a sticky and greasy residue that can be loaded with chemicals and usually carries a sharp and particularly foul odor. Smoke and soot can be compared in the following ways:

  • Smoke is a vapor or gas given off by burning material
  • Soot is a greasy or sticky substance caused by incomplete combustion
  • Smoke is carried in the air and can be breathed while soot is more localized
  • Both can adhere to any surface
  • Both carry foul-smelling odors

How are Soot and Smoke Cleaned Up?

Soot damage, like smoke damage, requires careful handling and complete removal. Scraping and diluting the thick, toxic substance with industrial chemicals may be necessary. If soot cannot be removed thoroughly, then disposal of the affected surface is needed.

Smoke, on the other hand, can float and travel to any surface the air comes in contact with. It adheres and can stain paint and other elements, and can penetrate porous materials, so smoke is something that needs to be dealt with. Physically cleaning with detergent, followed by treating the area with an ozone generator may rid the area of any lingering odors.

Smoke damage does not need to be the end of the road. With help from a restoration service in Waterfront, MA, smoke cleaning can make the nasty odors a thing of the past and give your building a fresh take on life.