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Free Emergency Planning for Lexington, Mass. Businesses

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Free Emergency Planning for Lexington, Mass. Businesses If you fail to plan for your business surviving a disaster, you are planning to fail

Does your Lexington business have an emergency plan? If a pipe bursts in your building, do occupants know where to shut off the water until a plumber arrives? Can you quickly access all your emergency contact information no matter where you are? 

Free Emergency Planning in Lexington, MA

SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford offers a free Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business to ensure you are prepared for building disasters.

With our ERP, you will have the information you need to respond quickly and get back in business as soon as possible following a fire, flood, or other catastrophic event. 

Tag Utility Shutoffs

As part of the plan, we will tag your shutoffs for water, gas, electricity, and other key mechanical systems. We will also take a photo of each shutoff and note where to access it, so anyone reading the ERP can act fast when necessary.

Building Contacts

Building owners, facility manager, and human resources manager are among the key personnel you may need to contact quickly in an emergency. We gather all these primary contacts along with direct numbers for first responders and utility companies, so you have all the information you need in one place.

Key Partners

After a disaster, you may need to partner with several different organizations to restore and rebuild. We help you organize your preferred vendors ahead of time in a list that makes it easy for you to reach out and connect with them.

Mobile App

Once we have all the pertinent information and photos, we generate a hard copy report you can keep in your facility. We also store this emergency profile in a mobile app, so you always have the information available at your fingertips and can easily update information when appropriate.

You can request our services directly from the app, and you can easily share it via email with anyone else who needs the information during your disaster response.

Call for Your Free ERP

Our marketing team is available to create an ERP for your business. Call today to schedule a walkthrough of your facility, so you are prepared no matter what happens this winter.

Were Your Fire Extinguishers Recalled in Bedford, Mass.?

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Were Your Fire Extinguishers Recalled in Bedford, Mass.? Check your Kidde fire extinguishers to ensure they were not recalled last year

Last November, Kidde Fire Safety issued a recall on several models of fire extinguishers. We advise everyone check their fire extinguishers against the Kidde recall page to confirm that no recalled models remain in their facilities.

Bedford, MA: Check Extinguishers

The Kidde recall applies to certain models with plastic handles or push-button “pindicators”. Visit the recall page to verify whether or not your Kidde fire extinguishers are part of the recall.

Here are some other things to keep in mind regarding your equipment.

Regular Inspections

Fire extinguishers should be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Facility managers and/or owners should inspect them every month, and a licensed company should be called in to inspect and maintain them annually.

Employee Training

Like any equipment, extinguishers only work properly when handled by someone who knows how to use them. Safety training in your facility should include teaching the proper use of extinguishers.

You could also call in a fire safety company to train all employees at once. Just remember to train new employees as they come on board as well.

Fire Safety Provider

If you would like to connect with a local company that provides fire safety equipment, annual inspections, and training, call our office at 781-861-0500. We will refer you to the team we trust to maintain our equipment.

Plan Ahead To Survive Disasters

Up to 50 percent of businesses will not survive a catastrophic loss like a fire or flood. SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford offers a free Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) to help local businesses prepare in advance to recover quickly when things go wrong.

Please call us today to learn more about how an ERP can help your business be prepared.

Lexington, Massachusetts: Do You Need a Mold Test?

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Lexington, Massachusetts: Do You Need a Mold Test? Mold only gets worse the longer you let it grow

Mold causes concern for many home and business owners. Not only is mold unpleasant to see or smell, it can also cause property damage and may have health effects for building occupants.

Do You Need a Mold Test in Lexington, MA?

We field many calls a month from people who are concerned about the possibility of mold in their building. They want to know

  • Do they need testing?
  • Can we do the testing?

If you can see mold or other microbes growing on building materials, you do not need mold testing. A test would merely confirm what you already know.

Here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford we do not do mold testing, but we can recommend a lab if you would like.

Finding Hidden Mold

When you smell but cannot see mold, our certified production managers can usually help locate it during a free estimate. They will start by identifying the source of the moisture that provides an ideal environment for microbial growth.

Moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras allow our estimators to find moisture behind walls and beneath flooring. Once they find moisture, they know where to concentrate their efforts.

If they do find mold, our franchise professionals will advise how you should address the contamination and discourage future outbreaks.

Does It Matter What Kind of Mold?

Black mold has received a bad reputation as a particularly nasty microbe, but the treatment for any mold in your building is the same.

  • Isolate the contamination.
  • Remove contaminated porous materials.
  • Remove mold from nonporous materials.
  • Apply an anti-microbial product.
  • Filter the air to extract as many spores as possible.

Testing is an added expense that does not help you combat the problem. Rather than drive up the costs of your remediation project, we recommend you call for an estimate to begin addressing the contamination.

Our crews are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification to apply the latest industry standards in mold remediation. Call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford for a free estimate when you suspect microbial growth in your Middlesex County building.

Dental Office Fire Cleanup in Brookline, Mass.

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Dental Office Fire Cleanup in Brookline, Mass. We want to help you reopen ASAP following a fire

Who do you call when fire closes your business? You need so many things once you hear the all clear from the fire department:

  • Your building secured,
  • The soot removed from all surfaces,
  • Damaged building materials replaced,
  • Wet materials dried, and
  • HVAC ductwork cleaned.

And you need all these things as soon as possible so you can return to business.

Dental Office Fire Cleanup

When a midday fire all but destroyed a restaurant in a Brookline, Mass. plaza, our franchise offered restoration services to neighboring businesses. An adjacent dental office manager said we would get the job if we could guarantee the office would open the following morning.

The other restoration companies at the scene said we were crazy to take the job. They were sure we could not follow through and we would ruin our reputation by trying and failing.

However, we knew if our crews applied themselves and worked through the night, we could get meet the deadline.

Working Through the Night

As each crew finished their assignments for that day, we sent them to the dental office to pitch in and get the job done. They scrubbed soot from floors, walls, and fixtures. They cleaned ductwork. They removed and replaced ceiling tiles.

Four crews worked through the night. The next morning, that office opened on time and kept its commitment to patient appointments.

Hard To Believe

A competitor who had said the job could not be completed overnight was surprised when he stopped by a couple of days later to find the office open. He said we could not have completed the job so quickly. He suggested we must have misled the customer about the work we did.

Our competitor did not realize that the office manager had stayed on site and supervised our crews through the night. Our customer had no doubt we did what we said we would do in the time we said it would take.

Professionals Committed to Business

When you have a fire, any downtime threatens the life of your business. Employees who cannot work may find new jobs. Customers who depend on your goods and services may seek alternative suppliers. Lost revenue may affect capital investments, shareholder confidence, and the bottom line.

At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we understand the importance of time in commercial disaster response. We have committed fire restoration professionals who will make your loss “Like it never even happened.” Call us first when fire closes your doors and you need them opened again as soon as possible.

Can I Dry My Own Water Damage in Lexington, Mass.?

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Can I Dry My Own Water Damage in Lexington, Mass.? Call at the first sign of water damage in Lexington, Mass.

Can I Dry My Own Water Damage in Lexington, Mass.?

Lexington residents and business owners often wonder if they really need a restoration company to dry their water damage. They call and ask us if they can just set up a fan for a few days and everything will be fine.

Without seeing the water damage and assessing the extent of saturation, we cannot answer that question. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford offers free estimates that can set your mind at ease.

Here are the things we will consider:

What Kind of Water?

One big concern when cleaning and drying a water damage is whether the water is contaminated. If the water came from a sewer pipe or through the ground, it contains microbes and pollutants that pose a risk for building occupants.

Porous materials that have soaked up this contaminated water must be removed and discarded. No one can safely decontaminate carpets, drywall, insulation, and other porous building materials. 

How Much Water?

Your restoration needs will also depend on the amount of water and the saturation of the building materials. Even clean water will provide an excellent environment for microbial growth if it sits for over 48 hours.

Your goal following a water damage should be to get the building dry within three days. Our franchise professionals have a warehouse of fans and dehumidifiers available to meet your needs.

Can You See All the Water?

Many times, the water you see is only part of the problem. Water can seep down into the subfloor or behind the walls. This water you cannot see will lead to microbial growth and greater restoration costs.

Call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford for a free estimate when you have a water damage. We will bring moisture meters that can detect hidden water and advise you on the proper response to get your building dry as soon as possible.

Summer Storm Safety in Bedford, Mass.

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Summer Storm Safety in Bedford, Mass. Thunderstorms can cause flash floods and other storm damage in a matter of minutes.

Many summer storms in Bedford, Mass. appear to arise out of nowhere. Sunny skies suddenly darken and fill with angry storm clouds. Within minutes a beautiful day gives way to torrential downpours that bring lightning, hail, and high winds

How does this happen?

Bright sunshine warms the air below. When the warm air below meets cool air above, the change in temperature creates clouds, rain, and an unsettled atmosphere. The same effect can be created when cool air blows in from the ocean or a cold front comes through the area.

Summer Storm Safety

Make no mistake: Summer thunderstorms are dangerous. Sudden downpours can overwhelm storm drain systems leading to flash flooding. You may have visibility issues while driving through the rain. Even the most experienced drivers may have to contend with other, inexperienced drivers on the road.

If you see a storm on the horizon while driving, consider finding a safe spot to park and wait out the violent weather.

Know the Forecast

Awareness is key to avoiding injury during summer storms. Check the weather forecast if you plan to spend time outdoors. Keep an eye on the sky and listen for weather alerts when thunderstorms are forecast.

Understand the difference between weather warnings and watches. A storm WARNING means that a storm is imminent in your area. A storm WATCH means a storm might be on the way.

Head Indoors

When you see lightning or hear thunder, it is time to head indoors for safety. Stay away from water as it is an excellent conductor of electricity.

Once inside, avoid taking a shower or running water. Do not talk on corded landline telephones as the electricity can travel through the line. Stay away from windows so you are safe from lightning strikes and blown debris.

Storm Damage Cleanup

After the storm, call SERVPRO if you experience flooding or other storm damage to your home or place of business. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Mold Remediation Process

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 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.

Asbestos Test

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.

Protection

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.

Demolition

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.

Microbe Removal

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.

Decontamination

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.

Final Rinse

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.

Many Steps

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.

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 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.

Neutralizing Odors

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.

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 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.

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 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.

Free Estimate

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.  

Adjuster Permissions

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. 

Call Professionals

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.