Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

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.

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 Do Insurance Agents Use Claims Inventory Systems?

2/18/2022 (Permalink)

Tablet and cell phone. The SERVPRO Claims Information Center makes it easier to ensure that accurate information is available about types of damage

SERVPRO Claims Information Center

A claims inventory system can help insurance agents keep track of claims in progress, estimates and data. There are several ways in which the SERVPRO Claims Information Center makes it easier to settle an insurance claim.

Accessing Individual and Aggregate Data

Whenever restoration professionals issue a new estimate, this information is uploaded to a corporate database and becomes available to insurance representatives. Resources such as the Claims Information Center make it easy to review individual files. Agents and adjusters can also access several types of data for the purpose of comparison:

  • Causes of loss
  • Job file costs
  • Response times
  • Types of claims

All of this data is available for counties, states, regions and nationwide. An insurance agent can also easily compare the performance of a company to other mitigation and restoration services in a region or across the country.

Managing Claim Information

As an insurance claim progresses, an online resource makes it easier to add to, complete or review data. This can help insurers and restoration professionals ensure that all of the necessary information is available to other parties. This may reduce the possibility of miscommunication, which can unnecessarily prolong the claim process.

Reducing Processing Times

An online resource that is easy to access can speed up the process of preparing, processing and settling claims. The availability of individual and collected data in one place can allow for less back-and-forth communication between agents, adjusters, insured parties and mitigation and restoration services.

All of these factors can make an electronic claims inventory system a useful feature for insurance agents and adjusters. Whether or not representatives have worked with similar systems in the past, the SERVPRO Claims Information Center makes it easier to ensure that accurate information is available about types of damage, restoration services and estimates related to an insurance claim for damage at a residence in South End, MA.

3 Things to Throw Away After a Fire

11/19/2021 (Permalink)

Blue & white pills medicine the drug expired. 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.

1. Food

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.

2. Medicine

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.

3. Cosmetics

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.

Steps To Clean a Moldy Washing Machine

10/30/2021 (Permalink)

Baking soda 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.

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.

How To Distinguish Between Mold and Mildew Growth

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. Removal of black fungus in the apartment and house. Mold remediation services to a home in South End, MA.

Mold vs Mildew

Mold damage might not seem different from mildew at first glance. You might even hear some people refer to both interchangeably. While mildew is a type of fungus just like mold, it has enough significant differences to warrant different cleaning methods. Learn about the main contrasts between these fungi so you can distinguish them when they emerge inside your South End, MA, home.

Physical Differences
An immediate way to separate mildew growth from mold is by comparing physical appearance. Generally, mildew resembles powder, has a grey or white color and it has a flat shape. Meanwhile, mold growth can be fuzzy or slimy, with a variety of colors such as:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Yellow

Additionally, you might find some raised mold instead of it being a flat organism. Mold takes on more shapes because it encompasses various versions, while mildew is just one specific version.

Surface Types
Mildew also has a different relationship with its surface in comparison to mold damage. Both are fungi grown on wet and moist surfaces. However, you might find mildew mostly on the surfaces of plants and fruits, as well as materials with high amounts of cellulose, while mold grows on nearly any type of surface. Mildew only grows on top of the surfaces and only actively damages plants, while mold burrows and severely damages these surfaces, especially when they are already weakened by moisture.

Infestation Severity
Mildew is relatively harmless in comparison to most other types of mold. It is usually flat and surface-deep, so it causes less damage to your property. You can easily remove it with a cleaning product, a towel and gloves. Mold can affect your home in various ways. It can be more difficult to remove from your home, so you might need a mold removal and restoration service to step in and handle it professionally.
The differences between mildew and mold damage are few, but they are substantial enough to establish. They determine the appropriate methods for combating a present infestation.

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.

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.

Exclusions

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!

Endorsements

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.

3 Common Pitfalls of DIY Mold Testing Kits

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Mold Armor DIY test kit. For testing mold at home. 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 Boston, 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.

4 Facts About Mold

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Three mold spores - 3d illustration Mold spores thrive on moisture

Here are Some Fact About Mold You Might Want To Know 

To some people, the word mold may evoke feelings of anxiety and fear. This can be especially true if mold is found in your Financial District, MA, home. Fortunately, learning facts about black mold can help you better understand this organism and how to control it in your environment.

1. Mold is Everywhere
First, it’s helpful to know that mold spores are microscopic organisms found in the air. Mold spores are both indoors and outdoors, and people are exposed to various amounts of mold every day. Fortunately, mold doesn’t become harmful unless it’s allowed to breed and accumulate in size.

2. Mold Thrives on Moisture
Most of the time, mold is kept at acceptable amounts through regular cleaning and sanitizing. Unfortunately, any type of moisture problem invites a breeding ground for mold. Mold can’t produce its own food so it relies on organic materials such as your plants, walls, roof, and food. Basements, bathrooms, refrigerators, and attics are common damp areas where mold finds a comfortable home.

3. Mold Has Many Species
Black mold is typically the most commonly understood type of mold. People often assume any black discoloration on walls, ceilings or bathroom tiles is mold; however, mold can be green, pink, brown or gray depending on what it’s feeding off of. Common species of mold include Stachybotrys, Penicillium, Cladosporium and Fusarium.

4. Mold Can Be Controlled
Reading or hearing about mold may make you feel anxious, but it’s good to know that it can be controlled. Because mold thrives on moisture, you can prevent mold from becoming a problem by:

  • Maintaining a home humidity level at 45% or below
  • Fix leaks and condensation immediately
  • Increase air circulation with fans and open doors
  • Thoroughly dry wet areas after flooding

If you discover that you have black mold growing in your home, it’s wise to contact a mold remediation company. Restoration specialists have the tools and knowledge to correctly and properly handle your mold cleanup.

3 Things You Should Know About Water Damage and Mold

8/15/2020 (Permalink)

Mold found behind liquor display area Mold damage in Waterfront, MA

Ways To Keep Water and Mold Damage To A Minimun

If you’ve experienced water damage in your Waterfront, MA, building, then you likely have a few different problems to deal with. Among these is secondary damage which can include mold. The following is some information that may help you respond properly in this frustrating situation.

1. Mold Grows and Spreads Quickly
When given the right conditions, mold growth can occur quite rapidly. In many instances, it only takes the fungus a day or two to begin to form. This often happens after a building is damaged by water, because mold requires moisture to grow. The fungus can be found in most environments, so it is a common problem. Removing the moisture will reduce the spreading.

2. Mold Will Not Go Away On Its Own
Although you may hope that leaving the mold alone will allow it to clear itself up after the water damage is gone, this is not the case. Mold must be cleaned and thoroughly removed once it has begun to form an infestation. If you ignore it, the growth will only continue to spread and will likely move to other areas in the building as well.

3. Mold Should Be Handled By a Professional
Attempting to remove mold on your own might seem like the easier option, but you are unlikely to achieve the results that you want. Unless the area is properly contained, mold spores can spread through the air and on your clothing. It is best to hire a mold remediation company to perform cleanup and removal. They can also help you with mold prevention to keep it from returning.
In order to keep secondary water damage and mold to a minimum, it is important to have mitigation and restoration done as soon as possible. This will keep the mold from spreading further and will reduce the amount of time that it takes to remove the damage from the building as well as to make any needed repairs.

The important Differences Between Mold and Mildew

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Hand pointing at a wall with mildew Mildew present in a North Ende, MA home

Differences Between Mold and Mildew

The terms mold and mildew are often used interchangeably. In reality, though, they are two different organisms that impact a home in different ways. Of the two, mold is the more serious problem. It often appears slimy or fuzzy on walls and ceilings and can cause significant mold damage if not taken care of. Mold is also more invasive than mildew and it can spread very quickly under the right conditions. The prime condition for the rapid reproduction of mold is a warm, moist environment. Experts in mold remediation are often needed to control an outbreak of mold in a home in North End, MA.

Facts about Mildew

While mildew is also a fungus, it differs from mold in several important ways. Here are a few of the main characteristics of mildew:

  • It is a surface fungi
  • It often is gray or white
  • It is easily treated
  • It often grows on plants

Mildew growth normally presents less of a problem to homeowners than does mold growth. It can usually be wiped clean with a home cleaner and a scrubbing brush. Mildew also is partial to moist, warm environments, so keeping a home from excess moisture is sometimes enough to prevent an appearance of mildew.

Fact About Mold Damage
Mold has a better ability to penetrate more deeply into surfaces than does mildew. Therefore it can be harder to clean and control. When a person discovers mold in a home, he or she can help the situation with a few smart steps. The mold should never be touched or disturbed. Fans or other instances of fast air motion should be kept away from the mold to prevent its spread. Bleach or other disinfectants should not be used in the problem area. People and pets should stay out of areas with visible mold present. A professional team can safely remove any mold damage with a combination of training, experience, and equipment.

Count on Local 24/7 Disaster Response

6/18/2020 (Permalink)

Servpro vehicles parked SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster

When a client in Financial District, MA, files an insurance claim, insurers know they need to rely on storm, fire, or water damage restoration specialists that are faster to any size disaster. Waiting for help to arrive can quickly lead to additional damage and rising costs. Instead of hoping to hear back from a company, have confidence in immediate assistance by relying on a trusted company that is Here to Help any time of the day.

Local Franchises

SERVPRO has more than 1,700 franchises, which allows its team of professionals to jump into action the minute they get the call. No matter where the disaster happens, commercial services available include:

  • Water damage restoration
  • Fire damage restoration
  • Mold remediation
  • Cleaning services
  • Storm and major events
  • Disaster recovery

Knowing that your emergency response team means working with professionals from the community also provides additional peace of mind. Being local means they care and are dedicated to ensuring everyone is satisfied with the restoration results. In addition to the local benefits, there is an additional bonus of each franchise being backed by a nationwide network. SERVPRO works closely with national and local insurance companies, which boosts communication and makes the claim process easier for everyone involved.

Dedicated Professionals
Along with being faster to any size disaster thanks to a 24/7 emergency service, the people arriving at the disaster scene are certified professionals trained in property damage restoration. Along with employee certification training, technicians are required to be certified through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Training and certification are ongoing to ensure no matter where help is needed, the team answering the call has the latest skills to get a business back to “Like it never even happened.”
When clients need help, it is vital to get assistance from a trusted company that is faster to any size disaster to avoid downtime, rising repair costs, and further damage.

Keeping Employees Safe During Mold Removal

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Removing mold from the wall in the house. Hand in blue glove tears off wallpapers damaged by fungus Mold removal in South Boston, MA

If you run a business, you have a lot of responsibilities on your plate. Not only do you work hard to build a profitable company, but you must look out for the safety and well-being of your employees. If you discover mold in the office, you should hire reputable mold removal specialists to rid your building of this fungal growth. During this process, you should be able to keep your office open, but make sure you take the proper steps to protect your workers.

Inform Them of the Details

At first, you may be embarrassed to tell your staff that you have mold growth. It's best, to be honest, and upfront about the issue. Though this can concern people, you can mitigate many worries by telling everyone exactly what is happening. Make sure your employees know the following:

  • Where the mold damage is located
  • When cleanup crews will be in the office
  • How long the process will take
  • That their safety is your priority

Adjust Schedules, if Possible
It may not work for everyone, but if you can stagger work schedules and have fewer people in the building, there is less risk of exposure. This can be especially helpful if there is black mold in the building. If you can, allow the cleanup team in South Boston, MA, to come in during evening hours. Or, move employees' shifts to different times during the day.

Remote Working
if your business is conducive to a remote work environment, set up employees to work from home during the mold removal process. This can help the removal process to go faster.

Close off Parts of the Building
To clean up mold, technicians will use contaminants and other potent chemicals. To protect employees, you should restrict access to the areas where the mold is growing. Seal the work area until the mold is gone.
To keep your employees safe during the mold removal process, follow these guidelines. You can have peace of mind that your employees will be well and that your office can soon be free of mold.

3 Levels of COVID-19 Cleaning

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says 3 categories SERVPRO of Boston Downtown/Back Bay/South Boston is licensed by the IICRC and here to help with Biohazard Remediation.

Much like water damage categories, there are different levels of COVID-19 cleanings, precautionary, suspected, and confirmed. These differentiations determine protocol when it comes to providing preventative measures as well as cleaning & disinfection after someone within the building has tested positive. 

Precautionary/Preventative - cleanings are a measure taken when there has been no confirmed or suspected cases. 

Suspected/Person Under Investigation - cleanings happen when there is reasonable suspicion that the virus is present, or one or more people that have been in the building have been tested and are waiting for results.

Confirmed - cleanings happen after there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 onsite.

It is very important that property owners and business stakeholders recognize their own abilities, comfort levels, resources, and risk factors. While all stages require proper precautionary & intentional steps, the CDC has issued the following protocol in regards to , Confirmed cleaning & disinfection:

  • Workers must be trained to follow OSHA regulations
  • Proper use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) donning and doffing
  • Compliance with Bloodborne Pathogens and proper disposal of of regulated waste and PPE
  • Disinfectants used include - diluted bleach solutions, alcohol solutions, household cleaners followed by disinfectants, EPA registered household disinfectants

SERVPRO of Boston Downtown/Back Bay/South Boston understands the immediate need for all stages, which is why we have made ourselves available 24/7 to offer disinfection services. We are able to offer disinfection services to buildings of all sizes, including residences for those in need. Please don’t hesitate to call our office for more information on proper protocol, pricing, and the products we are using.

 (617) 227-2200

Top 3 Air Purifiers That Remove Mold Spores

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Air purifier at work, taking care of the comfort of residents, employees in the office. Getting rid of dust, smog, viruses An air purifier can help calm your nerves

Check Out These Three Purifiers

Living in a home that has mold in it can be concerning. An air purifier can help calm your nerves. Check out these three purifiers that can remove mold spores from your home. Each one has multiple filters to provide a high level of air filtration.

1. Rabbit Air MinusA2

The Rabbit Air MinusA2 uses a series of five filters, including a pre-filter, HEPA filter, and an activated charcoal carbon filter, to purify the air within 850 square feet. This purifier has a negative ion generator and gets rid of over 99% of the particles floating in the air.

2. Austin Air Healthmate

The Austin Air Healthmate can purify the air within 1,500 square feet of this machine, and it also removes more than 99% of the toxins found in the air. It has a four-stage filtering process, including two pre-filters, a HEPA filter, and a zeolite and carbon filter. Like the other machines, it gets rid of mold spores at a high rate.

3. SilverOnyx

The SilverOnyx has all the features that you would want in a purifier, including a UV light filter, ionizer, carbon, and HEPA filters. It is quiet and has an air filtration system that packs a powerful punch. The SilverOnyx can purify the air of over 99% of pollutants within 500 square feet.
If you have physical mold damage in your home, you will need to hire a mold removal company. An organization that performs mold remediation will inspect and assess the damage. Workers will then curb the mold growth, filter the air and start on the restoration process.
Having mold spores in your place can be worrisome, and you will need an air purifier to get rid of it. Some of the top purifiers have multiple filters for air filtration and can rid the air of more than 99% of the particles found in it.

Disinfection Services in Boston, MA

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

crews exiting a van at night Our crews are working around the clock to provide cleaning services to local businesses.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your Boston, MA commercial space needs deep cleaning services, call the experts at SERVPRO of Boston Downtown/Back Bay/South Boston today! 

How SERVPRO Serves Adjusters and Their Clients

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO facility and green van SERVPRO is one of the leaders in the restoration industry

Why Choose SERVPRO?

As an insurance adjuster in Financial District, MA, you know how important it is to provide great services for your customers at a low cost. When a water or fire disaster affects one of your clients, you need to use a cleanup company you can trust. That way, you can focus on adjusting the insurance claim to best suit everyone's needs.
SERVPRO makes the cleanup process go as smoothly as possible. There are many reasons to pick this business over other similar organizations.

Electronic Files

Before you can calculate the cost of the claim, you need certain information about the loss. This emergency restoration services company provides those details in an electronic file. This document, which is available within hours, includes:

  • The date of loss
  • The estimated cost of services
  • Photos of the damage
  • Scanned paperwork and documents

An insurance adjuster will also receive online access to new, pending and completed jobs. You can also ask for an itemized inventory of the harmed assets, as well.

Cost-Effective Services

After a disaster, your clients will likely be stressed about the rebuild. You can put them at ease by ensuring the restoration is cost-effective.
A delayed response to the emergency could cause the water or fire damage to spread. This, in turn, could make the cleanup more expensive. Thankfully, this business will respond to the scene right away. This will let you start the claims process promptly, as well.
The restoration experts will then pretest every damaged item to see what is salvageable. They understand that repairing assets is cheaper than replacing them.
Trained Professionals
Your clients needed well-trained professionals who will remediate the property safely and properly. That is why this company's franchises are trained to meet The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards.
SERVPRO is one of the leaders in the restoration industry. An insurance adjuster who uses this business will thus give its clients a competitive advantage.

Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

11/29/2019 (Permalink)

Document of Homeowners Insurance Policy Does your homeowners insurance cover mold damage?

Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

When you think of emergencies that can destroy your home, you probably think of fires and major storms. However, fungus growth can also cause severe harm to your Boston, MA, house. Unfortunately, your homeowners' insurance policy likely does not provide mold coverage.

Covered Perils

In general, homeowners' insurance covers mold damage to your home that results from a covered peril. Covered perils are accidental and sudden disasters that the homeowner cannot prevent, such as:

  • Vandalism
  • Lightning
  • Fire
  • Heavy snow, ice and sleet
  • Accidental plumbing discharge
  • Falling objects
  • Theft

However, there are many instances where your insurance will not cover the cost of mold cleanup in your home. Specifically, if your insurance provider feels you could have taken steps to avoid the fungus growth, it will not pay for the cost of repairs. If the damage resulted from a burst pipe that you ignored for weeks, an unventilated bathroom, or decades-old shingles that you failed to replace, you will have to pay for mold remediation yourself.
Homeowners' policies also typically don’t include flood insurance. That means any mold that grows following a flood isn't covered, either.

Mold Endorsement

Those who want mold insurance coverage can ask their carrier about an endorsement. An endorsement is extra coverage attached to your policy for an additional fee. However, if your home has a history of mold problems, your insurer will likely refuse to provide an endorsement or charge more for it. Your insurance provider may also cap the amount of money it will reimburse or limit its coverage to certain mold-related services.
It can be hard to tell if your insurance provider covers damage caused by fungus growth. Read your policy to see if it mentions coverage for mold claims or the possibility of mold endorsements.
If you have any questions, talk to your adjuster. A representative from your local black mold cleanup company may also be able to help.

The Invisible Impact of Smoke Damage

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

smoke damage on brick wall Smoke Damage can be visible on your commercial building after a fire breaks out close to your business

No property owner wants to experience a commercial building fire. The fire can be devastating, not only because of the damage the fire does but from the odor and discoloration the smoke leaves behind. Furthermore, while the building is closed, you can lose a great deal of money. However, before you hire a professional service in Boston, MA, to begin smoke cleaning, it can be important to understand exactly how the smoke damage can impact your building, your clients, and you.

Invisible Assailants

Although smoke can often be seen during a fire, the damage causing the lingering smoke odor can often be a result of components that are not always visible. These can include:

• Invisible and toxic gasses can contaminate the air. These gases can include carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and phosgene. The gases can be a highly foul-smelling contribution to the smoke.


• Particles of carbon called soot can cover the floors and walls. The fragments can float long distances from the fire and be deposited in unusual areas such as the cracks of bricks or under the heads of nails.


• Vapors of poisonous smoke can look like mist. The gaseous droplets can be poisonous and can cover items in your building with contaminates.

Covert Particles

Signs of smoke are often evident after a fire. Black stains covering the walls and ceiling of some rooms, soot covered floors, and an unpalatable odor are often visible signs of pollution left behind by the fire. But the acrid smell that lingers for weeks after a fire is often caused by a cloud of invisible particles left over from the flames. That is why smoke cleaning can be a tedious and unpleasant job.

Timely Restoration

Removing the smoke damage that can be seen may be easily done by a fire restoration and smoke cleaning team. On the other hand, removing the often acrid and unpleasant odor left behind can be difficult even when using scientific means. Sadly, the longer the odor lingers, the more difficult it can become to remove it completely.

For more on Boston click here.

3 Things Homeowners Should Know About Mold in Crawlspaces

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

A mold hygienist on his knees checking for mold in a crawlspace Checking for mold in a crawlspace

Issues That Could Affect Your Home's Crawlspace

Many people don't often think about the spaces under their homes in Seaport, MA. However, just because you may not think about the spaces under your home doesn't mean problems may not occur there. As a homeowner, it can be wise to know what common issues, such as mold growth, could be affecting your home's crawlspace.

1. The Areas Under Homes Are Frequently the First to Acquire Water or Mold Damage

When flooding occurs, areas closest to the ground are most likely to sustain damage first. As a result, mold growth is likely to appear in areas under your home. However, other issues can also encourage mold growth under your home. Rain spouts that aren't diverted in a direction away from your home can cause water to build up under your house, and pipe leaks are another common cause of damage.

2. The Damage May Go Unnoticed

Many homeowners avoid going under their homes when possible, and since your crawlspace is not easily visible, the area may sustain damage without you noticing. Though you are likely to notice if a flood has affected the structure of your house, a slow pipe leak can result in equal amounts of damage. Keeping track of your water bills and looking out for unexplained increases in cost can help you to notice a leak before it's too late.

3. Media Blasting Can Be Beneficial

If the underside of your home has been affected by mold, restoration and sanitization can be difficult. However, mold remediation experts often use a method known as media blasting when removing mold from small spaces underneath houses. As the name suggests, media blasting entails blasting baking soda onto moldy surfaces. Then, specialized vacuums help to contain any remaining mold spores.

It's often useful to know about issues that could affect your home's crawlspace, as well as solutions that can fix common problems. Knowing that areas under your home are prone to damage, that problems can often go unnoticed and the benefits of media blasting can help you better prepare for any potential issues under your home.

Essential Ceiling Tile Maintenance

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

white ceiling tile Effortlessly replace your commercial tiles and remove tile mold “Like it never even happened.”

Give your commercial location an improved look and reduced maintenance schedule by choosing ceiling tiles. Tiles can come in a wide range of designs and are a cost-effective way to hide your utilities and provide a protective ceiling. In order to get the most out of your ceiling tiles and prevent tile mold in Waterfront, MA, follow these essential maintenance steps.

Inspecting Your Tiles

While day-to-day maintenance is dramatically diminished when using ceiling tiles, there are a few signs to watch out for. Look for these signs that your ceiling tiles may need to be repaired, cleaned or replaced:

  • Warped tiles
  • Tile discoloration
  • Damp spots
  • Cracked or broken tiles
  • Mold spots

Each of these areas are signs that your ceiling tiles may need to be replaced. If you’re unsure about a particular spot or have an emergency, contact a local mold remediation company that is Faster to any size disaster.

Cleaning Your Tiles

Small spots and dusty tiles can easily be cleaned. Simply take a damp cloth and wipe the tiles. If you need a more thorough cleaning, consider a professional technician who uses commercial-grade tile cleaners.

A brown spot that can’t be wiped off may be water damage. Water damage on tiles, particularly porous tiles, can harbor tile mold.

Replacing Your Tiles

Moldy tiles and large holes in tiles can’t be fixed by a simple cleaning. Restore your tiled ceiling and refresh your commercial location by buying new tiles. Be sure to select the same style and size of your previous tiles for a flawless replacement.

Don’t let water damage compromise the integrity and professional appearance of your ceiling tiles. Proper maintenance, including wiping with a cloth and inspecting for signs of mold, can go a long way to keeping your ceiling tiles durable and protective. Choose a professional mold restoration company to effortlessly replace your commercial tiles and remove tile mold “Like it never even happened.”

Mold Can Damage More Than Just Your House

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

a servpro van parked outside of the SERVPRO office It is possible to restore special items with the help of mold cleaning services.

The aftermath of discovering mold damage in your home in South Boston, MA usually consists of addressing the structure of your house, like drywall and flooring. However, the damage may have spread to many of your belongings in the vicinity, as well. It is important to deal with these belongings appropriately in order to prevent the further spread or return of the mold problem.

Get Rid of What You Can

To be safe, it is a good idea to replace as many effected items as possible. On the bright side, this could be an opportunity to redecorate! Certain belongings, especially fabric, may be too far gone or not worth the trouble of mold cleaning. Things like:

  • Curtains
  • Bedding
  • Clothing
  • Furniture

There are mold remediation services that can efficiently identify, pack up and dispose of such items for you as part of their process.

Clean What You Can’t Part With

It is understandable that certain items are not easily replaceable, like large furniture and sentimental keepsakes. For instance, what if the family photo album has mold growing on it? You may need to trash the album itself, but the photographs can be removed and restored. Upholstery is usually treated with foam cleaning, so that it doesn’t shrink or bleed. There are many mold cleaning specialists who have methods for cleaning contents, drying photographs and documents or restoring electronics.

Prevention

Mold is never totally absent from your home, as mold spores are a normal component of the air both indoors and outdoors. It is the management of moisture in your home, like leaky pipes, that prevents appropriate levels of mold from increasing or manifesting as growing colonies. It is a good idea to contact mold remediation services if you suspect a problem, before it gets too bad.

Mold can affect your belongings as well as your home. Although it is best practice to replace what you can, it is possible to restore special items with the help of mold cleaning services.

Pretesting: 3 Ways the Process May Reduce Insurance Claim Expense

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Boston Downtown can perform pretest in your home or business.

As a Seaport, MA, business owner, you may be concerned about what kind of damage natural disasters can cause and how they might impact your insurance premiums should you need to file a claim. However, there are ways to lower the risk of an incident, and one of the most effective can be pretesting. This process can help you find vulnerable areas around your commercial property that may be more at risk to disaster than others so you can make repairs or upgrades and lower the risk of needing to file a claim in the future.

1. Problem Areas Can Be Pinpointed

If you suspect one area of your building may be prone to problems during a flood or high winds or that a problem already exists, pretesting can confirm your suspicions. For example, if one side of your property experiences poor drainage, this type of testing can help assess risk and the grade of the problem. If it is a high-risk issue, then you may need to call your insurance agent with this information and ask about making a claim.

2. You Can Discover Your Options

After testing, your emergency disaster response team will likely go over the results with you and then offer a variety of options for repairs and upgrades. Some may include the tearing out and replacing of certain building materials or making improvements to a fire alarm system to promote early detection. This can be beneficial, as an array of options may help you be more flexible with your finances.

3. Tests Are Performed By Professionals

A professional disaster mitigation and restoration service is usually capable of performing these tests, and its experienced technicians can help you feel confident about they results they report. They may also be able to advise you about making an insurance claim based on the testing’s findings.

Pretesting may lower the financial risk associated with making an insurance claim on your Seaport, MA, business. From fires to floods, knowing where problems may lie can reduce the chance of serious damage to your building if these events occur.

What To Expect After Contacting SERVPRO

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Boston Downtown has teams available 24 hours a day

What To Expect After Contacting SERVPRO

If a client has suffered damage to his or her Boston, MA home, it is important to act quickly. SERVPRO’s 24 hour availability makes them a top choice for many insurance agencies. Here is what you can expect during the first several hours after contacting the restoration company.

1. A Quick Response
When a building has been damaged, the response time is an important factor in how time-consuming and how costly restoration will be. SERVPRO is always open, so you can expect to hear back within an hour after you have contacted them about the emergency. Once you have provided them with the necessary information, they will begin preparing to address the needs of your client.

2. Arrival to the Damaged Site
With over 1,700 locations, SERVPRO can arrive quickly to any emergency. They can be on site to begin the restoration process within four hours. This fast response can make a huge difference if your client’s home has suffered a great deal of damage. Beginning the process more quickly will result in less damage overall which can end up costing the insurance agency less money.

3. Inspection and a Verbal Briefing
Once the damage restoration specialists have arrived, they can inspect the home to determine the extent of the damage and decide on the best course of action moving forward. This should all happen within eight hours of your initial call. They will provide a verbal briefing so that you and your client are aware of what will happen next. Their quick 24 hour response will allow them to begin mitigation as soon as possible to prevent any further damage before they begin work on necessary repairs.
Because it can spread and worsen quickly, the 24 hour period after damage has occurred is crucial. SERVPRO’s fast response will save the agency money and allow your client to have their home back sooner.