Mold Remediation Process
Professional mold remediation entails several procedures
When you call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford to clean your mold, you can trust that you will be advised by experienced crews. Our technicians are trained and certified to follow the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) S520 Standard for Professional Mold Remediation.
Mold Remediation Process
There are several steps in the mold remediation process. Not all steps will be necessary in every situation because each outbreak is unique and the response must be tailored to the job.
If a mold remediation job will require demolition and removal of materials, we will bring in an asbestos testing company to test materials in accordance with Massachusetts DEP law 310 CMR 7:15 (4). We cannot begin the job until we get the results from this testing.
Depending on the extent of the outbreak, we may need to isolate parts of the building to prevent cross-contamination. Heavy plastic sheeting with zippered closures creates a moisture barrier, and a negative air machine keeps air from escaping the containment zone.
We also have our technicians put on personal protective equipment like gloves, googles, body suits, and masks. This protects them from exposure to the contaminants.
Not all mold jobs will require demolition. However, when porous materials like drywall and carpet are contaminated, they cannot be disinfected and must be removed and discarded. As mentioned above, asbestos testing will be performed before this step to determine the proper handling and disposal of the contaminated building materials.
We use a HEPA-filtered vacuum to remove visible microbial growth from structural elements like rafters and support beams and non-porous materials like concrete. Depending on the extent of contamination, we may apply an anti-microbial solution to kill any living mold and then vacuum again to remove dead and decomposing microbes.
We usually finish by applying a botanical anti-microbial product that will discourage future mold growth on all surfaces. We then run a HEPA-filtered air filter machine for a day or two to cycle all the air inside the containment zone through the filter several times and remove as many spores and particulates as possible.
Dry If Needed
If necessary, we set up fans and dehumidifiers to dry the area. Fans speed up the process of pulling water out of building materials into the air, and the dehumidifiers extract the water vapor from the air.
Some jobs require a final pressure washing of the floors before we leave. We pack up all our machines, clean up behind ourselves and wash the floors if appropriate.
As you can see, there are many steps in the mold remediation process. Not all are necessary for every job, but our production managers are familiar with the protocols and can explain how we plan to complete the job and why we have chosen a particular course of action.
When you find a mold outbreak in your home, consult a professional mold remediation specialist as soon as possible. The sooner we begin removing and remediating, the sooner everyone in the building will be breathing easier. Call 781-861-0500 for a free estimate and let us make it “Like it never even happened.”
Furnace Puff Back in Lincoln, Mass.
Puff Backs Can Leave Harmful Residue on Surfaces and in Air
Aging homes in Massachusetts have aging heating systems. Some of the older systems are subject to malfunctions. When they break down, we have a situation often referred to as a “puff back.”
Lincoln Puff Back Clean up
For example, our franchise responded to a puff back in Lincoln, Mass. The furnace in a 1939 colonial had malfunctioned and forced soot throughout the home. Every object in every room of the house was covered with a fine film of soot.
Contacting the Adjuster
Our estimator arrived on site to assess the extent of the damage. He contacted the adjuster to obtain authorization for our services. He then presented the plan for restoration to the homeowner.
Cleaning All Surfaces
Soot is sneaky. The pressure of a puff back forces soot into the tiniest of openings. Homeowners are always surprised to find soot at the back of closed cabinets and behind the contents of closets. Following a fire or puff back, our certified Fire Restoration Technicians are tasked to wipe down every surface: walls, floors, ceilings, and fixtures, as well as all sides of all contents.
Clearing the Air
In addition to the deposits on all surfaces, a puff back also leaves chemicals and other particulates floating in the air. These byproducts may be hazardous and can cause odors to persist. For this Lincoln puff back, our crew installed three HEPA-filtered air filtration devices to scrub all the particulates out of the air.
Smoke odors penetrate porous materials that are difficult to clean on the surface. We employ an industrial odor-neutralizing system to eliminate lingering malodors. This machine uses a nontoxic dry vapor that penetrates everywhere the soot and smoke went. The vapor leaves a home with a pleasant aroma without damaging fabric, plants, or electronic devices.
Trust Professionals for Puff Backs
Attempting to clean soot with conventional cleaners may actually set the stains into your walls and furnishings. Additionally, the air in your home may not be healthy to breathe following a furnace malfunction. Even if you think you have cleaned successfully, you may experience an overpowering smoke odor the next time it rains.
Regular maintenance should keep your heating system functioning normally. However, if you experience a puff back, you should contact us as soon as possible. At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford we pride ourselves on making it “Like it never even happened.”
Attic Mold in Bedford, Mass.
Attic mold should be remediated immediately, before heat and humidity encourage more blooming.
As the weather warms in New England, many homeowners find microbial growth in their attics. Water intrusions from ice dams or moisture diverted by bathroom vents to the attic can provide the humidity necessary for mold growth, and warm temperatures encourage microbial colonies to bloom.
Bedford Attic Mold
We were recently called to a single-family ranch in Bedford, Mass. that had an outbreak in a humid attic. Our estimator found visible microbial growth on all ceiling materials in the attic.
Containing the Outbreak
Before our technicians began remediating the mold, they set up moisture barriers to contain the infestation to the attic. They also laid down plywood on the rafters to better maneuver in the confined space and keep mold from the ceiling falling down into the insulation.
Remediating the Mold
Once the area was contained, our crew HEPA vacuumed affected surfaces to remove visible microbial growth and installed a HEPA-filtered air filtration device to scrub microbial spores and other particulates out of the air. They then applied a mold remediation solution to all surfaces.
Trust Certified Mold Professionals
At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we remediate mold using the Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) S520 Standard. Our technicians are IICRC-certified and will recommend the best course of action to remediate attic mold. They will also advise you on steps you can take to minimize humidity in your home and discourage future outbreaks.
Call us at the first sign of mold growth so we can help you breathe easier knowing the problem is contained and will be remediated.
Hot Water Tank Failure in Natick, Mass.
Hot Water Tank Failures Require Professional Drying
Hot water heater tanks hold a lot of water, over forty gallons in most household tanks. When the tank fails, all that water can flood to several inches in your home. Fortunately, your local SERVPRO franchise can help guide you through the process of contacting your insurance adjuster and drying your property in a timely manner.
Natick Hot Water Tank Failure
For example, we recently got a call from a Natick, Mass. resident at 6:00 p.m. He had just learned the hot water heater in his basement had failed. Fortunately, his basement was not finished, but he had several storage boxes on the cement floor that were now saturated with Category 2 water.
This customer was out of town on the evening he called us, so we could not access the property until morning. Our estimator confirmed that a plumber had been called and the water shut off, and then he scheduled an appointment with the homeowner for the following day to conduct a walkthrough and assess the situation.
Upon arrival the following day, our estimator determined that we could use fewer fans than normally recommended for that size area because the walls and floor were concrete and would not take as long to dry. He called the insurance adjuster and received permission to begin the job and place our equipment.
Two Day Drying
This job dried in two days using five fans and one LGR dehumidifier. The fans helped evaporate the moisture out of the concrete while the dehumidifier pulled the water vapor out of the air.
Many of the contents of the storage boxes were determined not to be salvageable after contamination with Category 2 water. However, the customer was satisfied with our efforts and gave us top scores on the customer satisfaction sheet at the end of the job.
Check out our hot water heater maintenance tips. We hope you never suffer a tank failure, but please do not hesitate to call us if you do. Anytime day or night, our water restoration professionals are available to help assess your situation, determine the best course of action, and expedite your return to normal.
Sump Pump Fails in Bedford, Mass.
Sump pump fails and floods basement
Here in New England, we were hammered hard with storms in the month of March. Downed trees, power outages, and localized flooding created headaches for much of Massachusetts.
Bedford, Mass. Sump Pump Fail
SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford was called to a sump pump failure in Bedford, Mass. The owner was out of the country, so we worked with his local agent.
Upon arrival at the home, we found the entire basement floor was wet and water had wicked up the walls. Fortunately, this was not a finished basement, so the loss was not as great to contents and flooring as we have seen for others.
Extraction and Prep
Our certified water damage restoration technicians suited up in personal protective equipment (PPE) and extracted all remaining Category 2 water. They set up a HEPA-filtered air filtration device to scrub particulates out of the air and applied a botanical anti-microbial product to the walls and floor.
To dry the area, our crew installed five axial air movers (fans) to speed up evaporation of water out of the affected walls and floor and an LGR dehumidifier to pull the moisture out of the air. The basement dried in three days, and the crew wrapped up the job by pressure washing the floor.
Flood Restoration Professionals
Our franchise has been serving Bedford for over thirty years. Our certified technicians have the tools and expertise to make your water damage, “Like it never even happened.”
Fire Retardant Application in Lexington, Mass.
Treat your draperies and upholstery with fire retardant to protect your property and anyone in the building
Picture a piece of newspaper flaring up in a campfire. As bad as any fire can be, when certain materials like untreated fabrics touch a flame, they can flare up just like piece of paper. Suddenly, a small fire becomes a huge conflagration.
Restaurants, hotels, schools and other commercial entities should use fabrics treated with a flame retardant for all draperies and upholstered furniture. In fact, fire retardant is mandated by law in many locations.
How It Works
Fire retardant works by causing materials to self-extinguish and fail to spread flames. Materials may still char, but they should not flare up and ignite other items.
Applying Fire Retardant
SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford applies flame retardant and certifies the application for the local health and fire departments. Our crew can treat draperies in place, so you do not need to rehang your window dressings following our visit.
Cleaning Drapes and Upholstery
If you would like, our technicians can clean your upholstery and window dressings before applying fire retardant. Some cleaning methods remove applied retardant, so we advise cleaning first to get the most from your treatment.
Wide Range of Coverage
SERVPRO flame retardant works on a variety of soft goods, including décor items. Call us today at 781-861-0500 to learn how little it would cost to treat the fabrics in your business. We offer free estimates and the peace of mind of knowing your facility is not a tinderbox.
Commercial Water Loss in Lexington Strip Mall
When necessary, SERVPRO brings the heat
When the temperatures dip in our area, the pipes start bursting. No matter how many times we warn our clients about the importance of heating their properties, even the vacant ones, every year at least one property owner tries to save a few bucks and ends up spending tens of thousands for restoration.
Lexington, Mass. Strip Mall
At the end of the 2017, Massachusetts was gripped by a deep freeze where temperatures fell below ten degrees for six days in a row. After the first night of the deep freeze, we received a call from a landlord. The sprinkler system in one of his empty commercial units had a burst pipe that affected two of the units in the strip mall.
The water had saturated the main floor of both units and went down into the basement where it froze solid. The water also soaked the circuit breaker box, which left the units without power.
Heat and Power
Before our crew could begin drying this water loss, they had to set up a temporary heating system for the job site to heat the affected units and melt the ice, and they needed a generator to power our equipment. They used an exterior furnace for the main floor and a portable heating unit in the basement.
After the building warmed and the ice in the basement melted, our crew had to extract three inches of standing water from the basement. They also removed wet ceiling tiles and insulation that could not be salvaged and applied a plant-based anti-microbial product to discourage mold growth.
Drying and Restoration
Our crew set up 33 axial air movers (fans) and two LGR dehumidifiers, which took four days to dry the building. The last step was to pressure wash the floors.
Our work was done, but there were still repairs to the sprinkler, electrical, and heating systems and the installation of new insulation and ceiling tiles to be completed. We have to believe this landlord now understands the importance of keeping the heat on through the winter or winterizing the property to prevent burst pipes.
Should your commercial property suffer a burst pipe, be sure to trust SERVPRO franchise professionals to properly dry the facility and protect you from the secondary effects of water damage, including electrocution or mold growth. Our crews have the training and certification to safely make it “Like It Never Even Happened.”
New Year’s Weekend Pipe Burst in Lincoln, Mass.
Many water losses require moisture barriers to prevent moisture and microbes traveling to unaffected areas.
What a year it has been already. Bomb cyclones and March nor’easters, along with the usual floods and freezes have had our crews scrambling to dry and restore homes and businesses in Middlesex County.
Pipe Burst in Lincoln
A good example is a burst pipe over the New Year’s holiday weekend. The pipe froze and burst in a single family home on December 30, 2017 in the middle of a six day cold snap of sub 10 degree nights. The resulting water damage affected the playroom, family room, and office of this Lincoln, Mass. home.
This Category 2, Class 4 water loss required extended drying days to dry the hardwood in place and avoid the added cost and inconvenience of demolition, asbestos testing, and rebuild.
Drying the Water Loss
Our crew began by setting up containment for the affected rooms to keep the moisture from traveling to other parts of the home. They also applied a botanical anti-microbial product to discourage mold and other microbial growth.
Our crew then installed ten axial air movers (fans) to accelerate evaporation and three dehumidifiers to pull the moisture out of the air. Once drying was complete, they cleaned the floor to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Reduce Your Risk
You can reduce your risk of burst pipes by taking steps to avoid pipes freezing during our long New England winters. You can also minimize the disruption of storm events by planning ahead.
However, when all else fails, you can be sure SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford is here 24/7 to take your call and help you recover from burst pipes and other storm-related building disasters.
Important NWS Weather Terms
Watch or Warning? Which one's worse?
The National Weather Service (NWS) uses several terms for categorizing weather threats and their severity. The following terms should help you assess the level of threat when you hear the NWS is issuing alerts in your area.
A warning alerts you to the highest level of risk as it is occurring.
The NWS issues a warning when a weather event is actually happening and poses a threat to people and property. If you are located in the area of a warning you should take action to lower your risk and protect yourself and your property.
A watch alerts you in advance to a risk that has not yet risen to the highest level.
The NWS issues a watch when a weather event that may pose a threat to people and property is highly likely but specifics like time and location are uncertain. Watches give you advance notice so you can make preparations to minimize the risk to yourself and your property.
An advisory may be issued before or during a weather event when conditions are less serious than for a watch or warning. Advisories can help you exercise the proper caution to prevent weather disturbances from causing life-threatening situations.
Take Heed of Weather Alerts
Keep in mind, these terms can be very general and may apply to a wide area. Localized flooding and wind events may be more or less severe than the general weather pattern. Also, the weather may change suddenly. You should always follow up-to-date reports from local authorities when choosing your strategy to survive the weather.
Should your property suffer a flood or other weather damage during a storm, be sure to call SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Moldy Master Bath in Lexington, Mass.
Call for an estimate as soon as you suspect a mold outbreak
Many people associate mold with old homes and neglected spaces like attics and basements. However, mold can grow anywhere it finds the right balance of heat, moisture, and organic material to consume.
We were recently called to remove mold in a Lexington, Mass. home built in 2008. The shower in the master bath was built over a copper pan that allowed water to accumulate. This led to mold growth behind the tiles initially and eventually on the walls of bathroom.
At first glance, you might not have expected such a high end bathroom with separate shower and bath could support a microbial outbreak. The house was clean, well maintained, and only ten years old. However, a building defect behind the walls created a perfect environment for fungal growth.
Contain the Outbreak
Our mold-certified crew began this job by securing the area and containing the contamination. They installed a negative air machine to maintain pressure pushing into the barriers so that no contaminated air would escape. They also installed a dehumidifier to pull moisture from the air.
Remove Moldy Materials
Our technicians then removed the shower door and fixtures. They pulled out ceramic tiles to get to the wet drywall. They bagged up all the wet and contaminated drywall and used a HEPA-filtered vacuum to clean the studs, the floor, and any tiles that were not on wet drywall.
Discourage Future Microbes
After they were certain that all visible microbial growth had been removed, the mold remediation team applied a plant-based antimicrobial product to discourage future mold outbreaks. They also advised the homeowner to have the shower corrected to prevent water accumulation behind the tiles.
Whenever water sits in or on organic material, it creates an ideal situation for fungal growth. This happens in old homes and new, in apartments, condos, and office buildings in every neighborhood in Massachusetts. When it happens to you, call in the mold professionals from SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford. We can make it, “Like it never even happened.”