Archived Blog Posts
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.
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.?
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.
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.
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
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.”
Commercial Sewer Cleanup
Call SERVPRO to clean and sanitize following a sewer backup
If you manage a business property, nothing ruins your day quite like a sewer backup. The smell will chase customers away, and the risk of contamination may attract the health department for a surprise inspection.
You want the mess cleaned quickly and you need the reassurance of thorough sanitizing. Fortunately, SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford production technicians have the training and equipment to handle sewage safely.
Sewage in Retail Parking Lot
Our franchise took a call recently from a retail property manager in Bedford, Mass. Sewage had backed up into the parking lot leaving an area of about 1600 square feet of contamination. They needed someone onsite quickly to clean the mess and minimize the inconvenience for tenants and their clients.
We mobilized a team to extract the contaminated water from the parking lot. We then pressure washed the pavement to leave it, “Like it never even happened.”
Commercial Emergency Response
We are committed to commercial restoration services. Whether it’s a water damage in a dental office, a restaurant fire, or any other commercial cleaning job that requires immediate attention, you can count on SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford to make getting you back in business our highest priority.
Soot Cleaning in Lexington, Mass.
Many homeowners make a soot job worse when they try to clean it themselves
Soot is a mess that requires professional cleaning. Soot not only contains ashes but also oily residue that makes it persistent. Depending on the materials burned, soot may also contain hazardous chemicals. Household cleaners may fix the soot into fabrics and wallcoverings. Even worse, soot particles are so small they can travel throughout a home and into every nook and cranny.
Here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we seek to educate everyone in our area about the perils of do-it-yourself soot cleanup. Still, some people insist on trying.
Do Not Vacuum Soot
We recently received a call from a homeowner in Lexington, Mass. who tried to vacuum out her fireplace. The vacuum did not have a filter small enough to capture soot particles, so the homeowner wound up blowing the mess all over the first floor of the home.
This house has a forced hot air heating system, so the soot went in the intake grate, through the heating system, and out the ducts to any rooms the vacuum missed. Every surface of the house and its contents were covered in a thin layer of soot.
Call a Fire Restoration Tech
Our production technicians have the training and certification to properly clean soot the first time. Had we been called in originally, we would have set up containment to keep the mess in one room and used a HEPA-filtered vacuum to capture even the tiniest particles.
Instead, our fire restoration crew spent several days cleaning the walls, ceilings, floors and all of the contents in the home. The final bill was about ten times what it would have been had we been called in the first place.
When you have a sooty situation, call the professionals at 781-861-0500 for a free estimate. We can make it, “Like it never even happened.”
How To Prevent Mold in Your Home
Keep your home dry to prevent microbial growth
No one wants mold in their home. Mold and other microbial growth looks terrible, smells worse, and may impact your family’s health. Over the long term, microbial growth on porous materials will degrade them and lower the resale value of a home.
You cannot prevent all mold in your home. Microbial spores are everywhere in the air and on surfaces looking for the ideal conditions to grow. Most of the time, these spores are in small quantities that do not cause ill effects for people in the home. However, if microbes are able to grow colonies big enough to be seen with the naked eye, they will be releasing spores in high volume.
Keep Home Dry
The key to preventing mold growth in your home is keeping it dry. Keeping the indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent is ideal for preventing microbial growth. Anything over 60 percent humidity can provide enough moisture for mold.
Ventilate Bathrooms and Attics
Keep bathrooms well ventilated. Use a fan or open a window when feasible. If all else fails, open the door to circulate air following a bath or shower.
Moisture can get trapped in your attic as well, especially if your bathroom fan ventilates to the attic. Consult an expert if necessary to find a workable solution to preventing moisture in your attic.
Many homes get their moisture through the foundation in the basement. Consider having your basement sealed, especially if your foundation is several decades old. If your basement is prone to flooding, a French drain or sump pump may be warranted to prevent water entering your home.
Use a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier can help regulate the moisture in your home’s air. Target 40 percent humidity for ideal comfort. Remember to empty your dehumidifier regularly to permit it to work correctly and prevent microbial growth in the appliance.
Prevent Water Losses
Even the best homes are subject to water disasters from time to time. Keep an eye on these hazards to reduce your exposure to these threats:
Washing Machine Hoses
Inspect washing machine hoses regularly and replace when they are five years old. Do not leave the house when the washer is running, so you can respond quickly to any leaks.
Hot Water Heater
Most residential hot water heater tanks hold 40 to 50 gallons. Imagine all that water spilling over your floor at once. Check your hot water heater weekly for signs of corrosion, sizzling noises, and leaks. Drain your tank every six months to remove sediment that can collect in the tank and cause corrosion.
A tiny, undetected burst pipe can soak an entire home in 48 hours or less. Take care to keep your home heated during frigid weather. Have your heating system serviced every year to ensure it will not fail when you need it most. Ask a neighbor to check on your home when you go out of town.
Address Water Intrusions
Despite your best efforts, you may experience a water loss or flood. When you do, it is important to act fast to prevent secondary microbial growth.
Dry Surfaces ASAP
Your first concern should be to dry any water you can see. You can pump out the water or use towels or mops to sop up the water. Do not hesitate to call in a professional if there is too much water for you to remove. The sooner your house is dry, the less your loss will cost in the long run.
Check for Unseen Water
Once you have the visible water under control, you need to consider the water you cannot see. Water may be sitting beneath the surface of your floorboards or behind walls. If you do not find and dry this water, you can expect mold growth later one.
Trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford to advise you on preventing mold growth in your home. Our certified water restoration technicians have the tools and expertise to determine if water is hiding out of sight in your home. They can find and the dry the moisture. And, if you waited too long and microbial growth has begun, our technicians can remediate it safely.
When Hot Water Heaters Fail
Inspect your hot water heater regularly to prevent disasters.
Most residential hot water heaters have tanks that hold between 40 and 50 gallons. All this water can be disastrous when a tank fails. Even worse, if you do not notice the problem right away, a hot water tank failure may lead to secondary damage from mold growth.
When a hot water tank fails, gallons of water can create a flood in your home. Basement floods might not be noticed right away and can ruin finished areas. Floods on upper floors will spread out and down, affecting several rooms.
The culprit in tank failures is often corrosion. Sediment can build up in the tank, leading to corrosion and tank leaks.
Pressure Relief Valve
Sometimes the tank is intact, but the pressure relief valve fails and leaks a steady stream of steam into the air. A few years ago, we were called in to a basement that was covered with an inch of fuzzy microbial growth on every surface because the valve failed while the homeowners were on vacation. They lost all of the fabric and soft material Christmas decorations they had accumulated through the years.
Here are some things you can do to lessen your risk of disaster due to hot water heater failure.
Weekly Spot Checks
Once a week, you should check your hot water tank for obvious signs of distress like sputtering sounds, moisture on the floor, or corrosion. Especially as your tank ages, these checks can alert you to replace your water heater before it fails.
Twice a year, you should perform a more in-depth examination of your hot water heater. This should include draining the tank and removing any sediment. Check the pressure-relief valve by lifting the handle and releasing it. If the valve is functioning properly, a small amount of water should be released in the overflow pipe.
Consider a New Water Heater
A replacement water heater may offer more energy efficiency than your old one, and a tankless system may bring more peace of mind. Rather than waiting for disaster to strike, you might want to be proactive about replacing your old hot water heater.
Like most household appliances, hot water heaters do not last forever. However, when they go, they can make a mess of your home and the precious memories you store within it. If your tank should fail, be sure to call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford to mitigate the damage and protect against mold growth.
Preventing Burst Pipes
Protect pipes from freezing and bursting this winter
When temperatures plummet, pipes start freezing. When frozen pipes start bursting, our phones ring off the hook.
These tips can help prevent burst pipes in your home or business.
Heat Your Home
It may seem like a no-brainer, but every year we get at least one call from a homeowner who thought it would be okay to leave the heat off while the house was empty. Some sunny days when the temperatures are in the 40s, you may get away with cutting off the heat while you are away. Still, it is best to keep your house and pipes warm once temperatures head towards freezing and below. And you should not be afraid to turn the heat up a little higher when temperatures flirt with zero.
Service Your Heating System
Leaving the heat on will not do much good if the boiler quits on you. Annual maintenance on your system should ensure that your furnace or boiler will continue to provide heat through the winter.
Wrap Vulnerable Pipes
Some pipes are vulnerable to dips in temperature, particularly those in basements, attics, or other unheated areas. Wrap these pipes in insulation to keep them from freezing.
Drip the Faucets
When temperatures hit single digits, many homes that never have an issue with frozen pipes suddenly do. Running water with a slow drip through a cold and a hot faucet will keep the water moving through the pipes and prevent freezing.
Pipes in closed cabinets or closets may not be benefiting from the heat in your home. Open up cabinet and closet doors on cold nights to allow warm air to circulate around your pipes.
Have Someone Check Your Home
If you travel during winter months, you should arrange for someone to check your house on a regular basis. They can alert you if the heat goes out or a pipe bursts, so a small problem does not become a major disaster. Ask them for special attention when the weather turns frigid—turning up heat and dripping faucets, for example.
Thaw Frozen Pipes
If water will not flow through a faucet, you probably have a frozen pipe. Follow these tips to locate the problem and thaw the pipe before it bursts.
Of course, should you do your best and still a pipe bursts, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford is here 24/7 to take your emergency calls. Once your plumber has fixed the pipe, we will help make it, “Like it never even happened.”
Removing Soot From Your Home
Trust Professionals to clean soot from your home
After a fire in your home, you will likely find soot everywhere. The heat of a fire pushes soot into every nook and cranny, deep into cupboards and closets coating every surface.
Do Not DIY
Some homeowners are tempted to clean the soot on their own. Do-it-yourself cleaning is not recommended following a fire. The soot particles are so small they can get behind walls and between floorboards. Even when surfaces appear clean, smoke smells can linger for years due these hidden particles.
Another issue is the HVAC system. Soot will hide inside the ducts for heating or air conditioning systems. Once a homeowner believes the house is clean and turns on one of these systems, the soot in the ducts will once again blanket the house.
Consult a professional before you make your problems worse.
Fire Restoration Professionals
If you have a fire in your home, you should act fast to prevent further damage. Most importantly, you should trust the cleanup to fire restoration professionals with the training and experience to remove soot thoroughly the first time. They can show you what can be cleaned, what should be discarded, and when you can safely turn on your HVAC and electricity again. They can communicate the scope of your loss to your insurance company.
At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we have over 33 years of experience responding to fire damages and removing soot for homeowners in Middlesex County. Our fire restoration technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, and they are on call 24/7 to respond quickly and secure your home if needed.
Trust SERVPRO for Soot Cleanup
We hope you never have a fire in your home, and we strive to educate homeowners about fire prevention. However, should you suffer a fire or puffback and you need soot removed from your home, you can trust our fire restoration technicians to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Commercial Water Damage Response
Our crew will make your commercial water damage its highest priority
When a business suffers a water damage, the top question on the owner’s mind is usually, “How soon will I be back in business?” (Yes, “How much will this cost?” is a close second, but the total cost is usually tied to how much downtime the business suffers.)
At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we are sensitive to business needs. We understand the importance of getting back to work as soon as possible.
The 1-4-8 Promise
SERVPRO offers commercial clients a 1-4-8 promise for emergency services.
- We will respond to a commercial emergency call within one hour.
- A crew will arrive onsite within four hours to begin mitigation services.
- Within eight business hours, a scope of the loss and estimate for restoration will be discussed with the insurer or property manager.
At our franchise, we average significantly better than the promise. Most calls are returned within twenty minutes. And we rarely need four hours to rally the troops.
Cold Weather Is Here
We have already had a tease of what winter holds for Lexington and Bedford this year, with an ice storm overnight December 23rd and snow storms on December 9th and 25th. Now we are bracing for several days of frigid temperatures.
Frigid temperatures invariably lead to frozen pipes. Consider boosting the heat in your business overnight when the temperature dips below 10 degrees, and drip water from taps to keep the water moving. Check your buildings daily over the long weekend.
If your Middlesex County business should suffer a water damage from frozen pipes, call our office as soon as possible. We can help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Holiday Fire Safety
Protect your home and family from fires during the holidays
During this holiday season, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford would like you to exercise caution when staging your holiday décor and preparing holiday meals. Holiday decorations and food preparation are the culprits in many house fires that occur during November, December, and January.
Candles light up many events during the season. Unfortunately, candles also start 55 percent of home decoration fires in December. Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve are the top three days for house fires started by candles.
Place candles carefully away from flammable items. Keep them out of reach of children and pets. If you cannot protect your candles from cats, consider using flameless candles for your celebration.
Approximately 200 house fires each year involve Christmas trees. More alarming is the fact that one in every 32 Christmas tree fires will result in death.
You lessen your risk when you:
- Keep live trees watered
- Inspect tree lights for exposed wiring
- Replace old lights with newer, safer ones
- Place candles and space heaters far from trees
- Secure tree against tipping
Do not permit a situation where an active child or pet could knock over a tree and have it touch a lit candle or fireplace.
Cooking Holiday Dinners
The top three days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, the day before Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Hectic cooks trying to do too much, houseguests helping in unfamiliar kitchens, and decorations placed too close to cooking equipment all contribute to these fires.
Keep decorations and other flammable items away from cooking equipment. Take care when using slow cookers, roasting pans, and other cooking appliances. Place all cooking appliances where they cannot be knocked over. Do not use extension cords as they may not be rated for the appliance you are using and they can create tripping hazards that lead to burns and fires.
SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford wishes you all the best this holiday season. We hope your friends and family enjoy safe celebrations. Remember we are here 24/7 throughout the year to assist should disaster strike.
Are You Prepared for Winter’s Worst?
Ice dams, frozen pipes, and buried hydrants are all winter hazards you should try to prevent
Winter has arrived in Middlesex County. Wind chills have been in the single digits several times this week and we shoveled our first snow last weekend.
We never know exactly what to expect in Lexington and Bedford, Mass., but we do our best to be prepared. With a little forethought and quick action when necessary, you can reduce the effect of winter weather on your home or business. Protect yourself from these winter storm hazards:
In our business, cold weather means frozen pipes that can lead to extensive water damage and mold growth. Take steps to ensure your pipes do not freeze this year. Make sure someone is checking your property when you are out of town so any issue can be addressed immediately.
During February, 2015, we experienced the worst ice dams we had ever seen in Massachusetts. After nearly no snow all season, we received more than our share in a matter of weeks. Again, take steps to ensure you are not susceptible to ice dams in the first place, but also be prepared to take action if the snow starts piling up for weeks on end.
Another risk with snow is that it can block exhaust vents from your building. Blocked vents can lead to a life-threatening buildup of carbon monoxide. Familiarize yourself with where these vents are before the snow arrives so you know to clear them after each storm.
Do you hate shoveling? We do too. We especially hate having to shovel through a snowbank at the end of a driveway. It seems like a plow always shows up on our street right when we get our driveway clean.
Imagine how it is for firefighters to arrive on the scene of a house fire and the hydrant is buried. They have to dig through a snowbank to find and clear the hydrant before they can begin doing their job of saving lives and property. Know where your closest hydrant is and take responsibility for helping to keep it clear.
Winter Is Here
We wish you all the best this season. Please take a moment to make a Ready Plan and consider ways you can reduce your exposure to winter disasters. And remember, should you experience a water or fire damage, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford is always “Here to Help.”
Prepare for Winter with the Ready App
You can be ready for winter's worst
While we rush around preparing for the holidays, winter is creeping up on us. Pretty soon we will be hunkered down hoping to avoid the worst this season can throw at us.
Here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we would like to help you be prepared to survive the weather and any storms that head our way. So we encourage our friends and family to download the Ready Plan App. This mobile app (App Store or Google Play) guides users through a simple process to identify important building systems and emergency contacts.
Once your Ready Plan is complete, you can quickly share it with others who need the information like house sitters or babysitters.
Many water damages can be contained until the plumber arrives by simply turning off the water to your home. The Ready Plan App provides space to take a photo of the water main shutoff and describe where it can be found.
Other utilities are also included so you can quickly find the electric panels and gas shutoff.
Key Contact Info
When recording your utility shutoffs, you can include the emergency phone numbers, your account numbers, and anything else you might need to know when calling these companies.
You can gather contact information for your trusted restoration professionals in one place where you can find them quickly. You will not have to dig around in a drawer to find your plumber’s business card, and you can note referrals from your friends before disaster strikes.
The Ready Plan App lets you store non-emergency phone numbers to local emergency services. While calling 911 is always the best first step in an emergency, there may be times you want to speak with your police or fire department without tying up the emergency lines.
Check out the SERVPRO® Ready Plan.
- Free service
- Information stored privately
- No strings, no obligation
We see the effects of poor emergency planning every day. We would love for everyone who reads this to take the time to make a plan to survive a disaster.
Avoid Washing Machine Hose Leaks
A bad washing machine hose could ruin your day.
Washing machine hoses are notorious in the restoration industry because washers often outlive their hoses. Most washers have a ten-year lifespan, but rubber hoses start failing at around five years.
When a washer’s hose fails, water can start pouring out of the hose at a rate of 650 gallons/hour. If you are not home to turn off the water main, you will quickly have a major water damage. Washers located aboveground will leak into living area. For apartment dwellers the risk is even greater as a loss from a washer in one unit may affect several adjacent or lower units.
Here are some tips to reduce the possibility of a washing machine hose leak and to minimize the damage should one occur.
Inspect Washer Hoses
Look for signs of corrosion and bulging areas in the hose to spot problems before they become floods. Replace the hose if you see signs of stress.
Replace Aging Washer Hoses
Most experts recommend replacing washing machine hoses every five years even if you do not see damage. If you have easy access to your washer and the area behind it, hose replacement is a simple task.
Consider a Water Shutoff
Your plumber can install a simple water shutoff valve between your water source and the hoses. By shutting off the water when the washer is not in use--recommended by washing machine manufacturers--you will reduce pressure on the hoses and extend their life.
Stay Home While Washing
You may be tempted to dash out for a quick trip to the store while your washing machine runs through its cycle. However, if the hose fails while you are out, you face a much bigger water damage than if you had been home to cut off the water supply at the first sign of flooding.
Identify Water Shutoff
Be sure you and all responsible adults in your home know where to find the water shutoff. Keep the path to the shutoff clear at all times. You want to be able to respond quickly in the event of a washer hose failure.
Finally, remember SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford is available 24/7 in the event of a washing machine leak or other emergency water damage. Call 781-861-0500 to begin mitigating the problem and avoiding secondary damage like mold growth.
No Renter’s Insurance in Lexington, Mass. House Fire
Your landlord's insurance does not cover your contents in a fire.
Do you rent a house or apartment? Do you have renter’s insurance? Unfortunately, our franchise is frequently called to the scene of fires where tenants do not have coverage for their contents. No coverage means they risk losing everything they value in the event of a fire or other catastrophe. Fires are always terrible, but fires without proper insurance are heartbreaking.
Earlier this year, we were called to clean after a fire in a house in Lexington, Mass. A short circuit caused an oven range fire that affected the whole house, especially the kitchen. Heavy soot covered all surfaces and contents, including cabinet and closet interiors.
The property owner had insurance to cover the building. Our certified fire technicians were able to clean the soot off the ceiling, walls, and floors. However, we could only clean the exterior of the cabinets and closets, because the insurance company and property owner would only agree to pay for their areas of responsibility.
No Tenant’s Insurance
The tenant was on the hook for any contents cleaning, but the tenant did not have renter’s insurance to cover the contents. Without renter’s insurance, any destroyed items were a total loss for the tenant. Even worse, if the tenant did not have the right training and materials for soot removal, there is a good chance the tenant damaged items that could have been restored by an experienced fire restoration cleaner.
Talk to Your Insurance Agent/Carrier
If you currently rent a house or apartment and you do not have renter’s insurance, please take the time to get a quote for this coverage. You will likely find the coverage is less expensive than you expected and well worth protecting everything you keep in your home.
Here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we are committed to restoring property following a fire or flood. Please consider carrying the right insurance coverage to ensure we are able to make your disaster "Like it never even happened."
Commercial Water Damage in Dental Office
We are committed to getting you back in business ASAP after a flood.
The seasons and elements do not care about your business. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford does care. We make it our highest priority to work with business owners to ensure the best outcome for their organization following an adverse weather event.
We were called to a dental office in Lexington, Mass. last month. High winds and driving rains had created a roof leak overnight. Water traveled down through the ceiling, into the walls, and onto the carpeted floor. The business owner called us at noon the next day, and our production manager arrived on scene within an hour.
The challenge for the dentist was that due to the amount of water and saturation we could not possibly dry the office in a day. Usually a water damage takes about three days to fully dry. However, the dentist had appointments to keep and did not want to close the business for several days.
We agreed to bring an emergency crew out that evening to:
- Extract water
- Remove ceiling tiles and other contaminated building materials
- Drill holes to allow drying inside walls
- Create a drying chamber
- Set up drying equipment including fans and dehumidifiers
These early mitigation steps minimized the damage and allowed the office to reopen the next day.
Patient Comfort vs. Drying Time
We explained to the dentist that our best advice was to run our equipment continuously for three days to complete the dry out in the least amount of time. The dentist insisted on turning off our equipment during office hours for the comfort of patients. This meant the drying would take at least four or five days, but the office could function during those days.
Satisfied Commercial Client
This water mitigation job was another great success for us. The dentist’s office opened the day after we were notified and the drying was completed within four days.
If your business suffers a water damage or other disaster, call the restoration team that works with commercial clients to get them back in business as soon as possible.
Basement Mold in Lexington, Mass
Treat mold as soon as you find it to save time and expense
No one likes mold growing in their home. Mold smells unclean, it looks terrible, it degrades organic building materials, and it may have health effects for the home’s inhabitants.
Mold in Basement Closet
Our franchise was called out recently to inspect a home in Lexington, Mass. because the owner thought he saw mold in the basement. Upon inspection, our production manager found surface microbial growth on the lower walls of a basement closet. He recommended cleaning and disinfecting the affected wall, but the homeowner requested that we go a step further and remove a section of drywall to be sure there was no hidden mold growth inside the wall.
Our technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in mold remediation, so they knew just what to do. They set up a barrier to prevent microbes traveling throughout the home. They installed a HEPA-filtered air scrubber to collect airborne particulates including microbial spores. They removed the affected drywall and inspected what they could see of the studs and framing inside the walls.
After our technicians established there was no additional infestation in the walls, they cleaned and deodorized the basement carpet. The homeowner was pleased with the job they did. The basement smelled fresh and clean, all visible microbial growth was removed, and the air was filtered to extract any abundance of spores.
Call for a Free Estimate
If you find mold in a basement closet, call us for a free estimate as soon as possible. Our IICRC-trained mold remediation technicians will help resolve the problem before it gets worse and more expensive to repair.
Free Business Emergency Planning in Bedford, Mass
Schedule an appointment today to begin your free Emergency Ready Profile
SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford wants your business to be ready for whatever happens. We know that more prepared you are in advance, the better your outcome will be following a flood, fire or other disaster. Therefore, we offer a free Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) that will help you plan ahead and ensure you have all your information at your fingertips.
Emergency Ready Profile
The SERVPRO® ERP is a document that gathers information about your organization’s emergency response contacts and notes key shutoffs in your facility. In most cases, we can complete a walkthrough of your facility within fifteen to thirty minutes.
We will create a hard copy of the ERP to store at your facility. We also create a digital version you can download to your phone using the SERVPRO® Ready Plan App. This puts all pertinent information at your fingertips, and allows you to quickly share your ERP with others during an emergency. You can also update the digital ERP whenever necessary.
For those who manage multiple properties, the Ready Plan App organizes all your information by building, making it very easy to oversee every property during an emergency.
Plan to Survive
According to FEMA, nearly 40% of businesses that close due to a disaster will not reopen. Of those that do reopen, 75% of them have an emergency plan in place.
We would like to help every Bedford, Mass. business be prepared to survive a disaster. There is no charge for this service. Please call 781-861-0500 today so we can get started on your Emergency Ready Profile before winter is here.
Commercial Duct Cleaning in Lexington, Mass
Call today for a free commercial air duct cleaning estimate
SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford offers duct cleaning services to businesses of all sizes in Lexington, Mass. We use a push-pull system, blowing from one end and vacuuming from the other while our brushes stir up debris stuck to the duct walls.
Why Clean the Ducts?
We recommend air duct cleaning to improve the quality of air for everyone in the building. Modern commercial buildings are designed to be airtight. This sealed environment prevents the loss of hot and cold air and saves on energy costs associated with these losses, but people in the building end up breathing the same air over and over.
In addition, dust, dead skin cells, and microbes accumulate in the ducts. This buildup can provide a perfect home for mold if humidity ever rises in the building.
Finally, the buildup on the walls of the ducts can restrict air flow making your HVAC system run inefficiently.
Commercial Duct Cleaning - Free Estimates
Here at SERVPRO®, we provide free duct cleaning estimates. Call to schedule your estimate today at 781-861-0500. Your customers and employees will breathe easier when the air is clean.
Is It Mold or Mildew?
Trust SERVPRO mitigation specialists to combat mold or mildew
We recently took a call from a concerned resident in Bedford, Mass. Her family had relocated from out of state, and her leather couch arrived covered in microbial growth.
When she complained to the mover about the condition of her couch, the mover claimed to have hired an expert who determined that this was mildew and not mold on the couch. According to the mover, the couch owner had no reason to be concerned about mildew.
Here at SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford, we find that distinction laughable. Both mold and mildew are considered potentially hazardous by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, if you search “mildew” on their site, you will be directed to their mold pages.
Mildew is Everywhere
Both mold and mildew are fungi. Both flourish in warm, damp conditions. And both are linked to upper respiratory tract symptoms in otherwise healthy people.
You can never completely eliminate molds and mildews from your home. Their spores are everywhere, even in your refrigerator. The risk is when these microbes are permitted to grow to the point of visibility. They are then releasing a higher-than-normal amount of spores into the air.
Call in a Mitigation Specialist
If you see microbes growing on a porous surface in your home (drywall, for example), you do not need to spend extra money testing to find out which type of microbe is growing there. You need to hire a mitigation specialist who can contain the contamination, remove the microbial growth, and advise how to avoid its regrowth.
Call SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford at the first sign of mold or mildew. We offer free estimates and can help you control the problem before it gets worse.
What NOT To Do Following a Fire
Do not attempt to clean after a fire without consulting a restoration professional
After a fire, you will want to act quickly to save and restore your property. We recently shared tips about things you should do after a fire. However, there are many things you should not do.
Consult a professional before attempting any of the following.
Washing painted walls and other surfaces with conventional cleaners can actually set the soot into the material. Call in a restoration professional who has the commercial products designed for safe soot removal.
Soot on fabrics like carpet and upholstery should be treated by a fire restoration carpet cleaner. Otherwise, you risk permanent damage.
Televisions, radios, and computers that have been exposed to fire, water, or excessive heat should be considered hazards until examined by an authorized repair service.
Consuming Contaminated Food
If food or beverages were stored close to high heat, fire, or water, they may be contaminated. Err on the side of caution and consult a restoration professional before consuming food that may no longer be safe to consume.
Turning on Electrical Appliances
If the power is off, you should not turn it back on until it has been inspected by an electrician. Even if the power is still on, you should not turn on ceiling fans, overhead lights, or other devices that may have been damaged by water or fire.
Sending Clothes to the Cleaner
Not all dry cleaners are specialized in post-fire clothing restoration. Clothes you hope to keep should be sent to a dry cleaner who specializes in fire restoration.
Fires are traumatizing events. Once the flames are extinguished, trust SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford to guide you through the process of taking back your life. We have the proper cleaning solutions and experienced partners to safely preserve and restore your property.
What To Do Following a Fire
Trust professionals for fire cleanup
You know that a quick response during a fire directly affects the extent of the damage. Acting quickly to evacuate people and pets and extinguish the fire will minimize the impact and cost of the fire.
Did you realize that acting quickly following a fire is also important to control costs? Most fires are also water damages when water is used to extinguish the flames. The water damage must be dried as soon as possible to prevent secondary damage caused by mold and other microbes.
Here are some quick tips for a proper response following a fire.
Hire a Professional Restoration Company
Restoration companies are committed to saving your belongings and moving you back into your building as quickly as they can. They have the knowledge and experience to treat soot-contaminated surfaces and save the property that can be saved.
Minimize Activity in the Home
Until the soot is cleaned, you do not want to be moving around and grinding particles into your carpets and flooring. Avoid touching objects with your hands as you may transfer soot this way as well.
You can put dry, colorfast towels or old linens down on the traffic areas to allow necessary movement without picking up soot on your shoes.
Protect Your HVAC System
Cover air registers with two layers of cheesecloth to prevent particles entering your HVAC system. Change the air filter, but do not turn the system back on until it has been checked by an HVAC professional.
Save Your Refrigerator and Freezer
If the power is out, you should remove food from your refrigerator and freezer then prop the doors open to prevent rotten odors. Do not consume any food that may have been contaminated by the fire.
Save Your Plumbing
If the temperatures are cold and your heat is off, you can pour RV antifreeze into your sinks, tubs, toilets and holding tanks to prevent them from freezing.
Wipe the soot off chrome fixtures in the kitchen and bath, then lightly coat them with a lubricant.
Wash Your House Plants
Be sure to wipe both sides of the leaves to permit them to breathe clean air again.
Follow Professional Advice
Here at SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford, we have been helping people in Massachusetts recover from fires for over thirty years. We hope you never need our services. However, if you do have a fire in our area, call us and we will restore your property and make it “Like it never even happened.”
Who Cleans a Hotel Tennis Court on Short Notice?
SERVPRO Cleans Tennis Court in Time for Tournament
Here at SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford, we help out in all kinds of emergencies. A few years ago, we were called in to do emergency cleaning of a tennis court at a hotel in Bedford, Massachusetts.
Tennis Court Covered in Paint Dust
The day before a tennis tournament, someone painted the ceiling of an indoor tennis court without protecting the surface of the court. The paint spray created droplets which dried before they hit the ground, covering the court and the walls with a fine, white dust.
The manager explains her situation that morning in our testimonial video. She had a tournament starting that afternoon. “So when I walked in and I saw the condition of my tennis court, I panicked. This would have been a violation of the contract, and I really didn’t know what I was going to do at that point.”
Saving the Day and the Tournament
“Steve mobilized a team very, very quickly. It was just an amazing amount of work that had to be accomplished in a very short amount of time.”
Our franchise sent four crew members to HEPA vacuum and pressure wash the floors. Then they had to dry the court. They managed to complete the job just minutes before the teams arrived for the tournament.
“I would absolutely recommend SERVPRO®. They’re a wonderful business partner.”
If you have a crisis that involves cleaning or restoration, partner with a team that has provided commercial services in Lexington, Mass. and Bedford, Mass. for over thirty years.
Who Do You Call When You Are in Florida and Your Pipes Burst in Massachusetts?
“It was just such a great experience with SERVPRO."
Imagine you are in Florida when your pipes burst in Massachusetts. Who do you call? Who can you trust to help you in your time of need?
Water Damage Professionals
When Tony and Myra Morosco had this experience, they called in SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford. They were so pleased with the job we did cleaning up the water damage, they agreed to appear in our customer testimonial video.
In Tony’s words, “We were in Florida. The house was flooded. Pipes burst in the upstairs bathroom. It was a disaster.
“The plaster and the walls in the living room were down. It worked its way down into my office where I had a lot of my golf memorabilia. I’ve been collecting golf books for almost fifty years. They were a disaster.”
Not Things, Memories
Myra adds, “I got a call from Dave, and he was such a comfort to talk to because he was just so patient. And when you have a loss, it’s really important someone understand what you’re going through. It’s more than things. It’s memories.”
“More than things,” we hear this from customers every day. The objects they trust us to restore are valuable to them and contain memories that cannot be replaced.
Who Would You Recommend?
Here at SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford we specialize in minimizing the damage caused by broken pipes, basement flooding, and hot water heater failures, so all you remember is the great water restoration experience you had. As Tony says, “It was just such a great experience with SERVPRO. I wouldn’t recommend anyone else.”
If you have used our services and agree with Tony Morosco, call our office and let us know. We would love to record your testimonial.
Mold Remediation in a Lincoln Attic
Attic microbial growth before and after remediation
Mold grows wherever it has the proper combination of moisture, temperature, and organic matter. Attics are a common area of concern when they are not properly ventilated. Moisture and heat accumulate, and building materials provide food for the microbes.
Lincoln Attic Mold
Here at SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford, we frequently respond to calls regarding mold growth, particularly during humid summer months. In July, we were called to provide an estimate for the attic of a commercial building in Lincoln, Mass.
Upon arrival, our estimator found microbial growth on the wooden walls and ceiling of the attic. He prepared a free estimate for remediation, and the organization hired us to complete the job.
First Step – Contain the Contamination
The first step in a mold remediation job is to contain the area so that none of the spores get transferred to other parts of the building. We contained the contamination by setting up a barrier and using a negative air machine to draw air in without allowing it to flow out of the area.
Next step – Remove the Contaminants
This job involved HEPA vacuuming then cleaning the affected surfaces. We also used a HEPA-filtered air scrubber to remove airborne particulates including microbial spores and bacteria. With the negative air situation already established, we were able to cycle through all the air in the attic.
Final step – Apply Anti-Microbial Solution
We finished this mold remediation job by applying an all-natural anti-microbial solution to deter future microbial growth.
Remember, SERVPRO offers free estimates. If you see mold in your attic, our certified technicians have the training and expertise to remediate the situation. We are always “Here to Help.”
It Is Never too Early to Plan Ahead
September is National Preparedness Month (courtesy of FEMA.gov)
September is National Preparedness Month. This year, the havoc in Houston reminds us all of how important preparation can be.
Here at SERVPRO we see the devastating effects of disasters on a regular basis. We know you cannot plan to avoid disasters, but you can plan to be ready in the event of one.
Create an Emergency Ready Profile
We recommend everyone take a few minutes to download the Ready App and create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for their home and business. In fact, we will even send a marketing representative to your business to help you create a commercial ERP.
The Ready App will guide you through the process of identifying utility shutoffs and gathering contact information for emergency services and other key partners for restoring your property following a disaster. With this app on your smartphone, you will always have this information at your fingertips.
Make a Plan
Does everyone in your home know how to evacuate safely in the event of an emergency? Do they all know where to gather away from danger? Do they know how to keep in touch if they get separated?
Ready.gov recommends you make a plan and review it on a regular basis so that everyone knows how to respond to an event and communicate in the aftermath.
Assemble an Emergency Kit
Take some time to gather the things you might need in an emergency. Batteries, flashlights, a radio and first aid kit are important to keep on hand. Some families will need to consider prescriptions, diapers, and pet food.
You should also think about where you should store personal records and financial documents. If you had to leave quickly, could you grab these things and go?
Review Your Insurance Policies
Make sure you understand your coverages. Talk to an agent who can explain your policies in language you understand and consider whether your family or property need better protections.
You cannot prevent disasters, but you can lessen their effect by making good plans ahead of time. And if disaster should strike, please call SERVPRO to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Why a Brighton Pizza Shop Chose SERVPRO for Fire Restoration
Fires can shut down restaurants for days. Call SERVPRO to get back in business ASAP.
Fires can shut down restaurants for days. Soot must be removed from affected surfaces, fumes must be deodorized, and any water damage must be cleaned and dried.
Many city health departments will require a health inspection before allowing a restaurant to reopen after a fire.
Our franchise professionals have the experience and Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Certification (IICRC) certifications to properly assist restaurants in reopening as quickly as possible.
Time Is Money
When a restaurant is closed for a meal, every minute is lost revenue for the business. Most restaurants run on a slim margin and cannot recoup money lost when forced to close. Employees also suffer a loss when they cannot work.
At SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford, we make every effort to restore a business following a fire as soon as possible to reduce the financial impact on owners and employees.
Brighton Pizza Shop
Last spring, the exterior shingles on a Brighton, Mass. pizza shop caught fire during lunch, contaminating two levels of the restaurant. The Boston Board of Health closed the pizza shop until it could pass inspection.
The owner had only one question, “Can you have my shop ready for inspection tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.?”
Our IICRC-certified technicians worked into the night:
- Cleaned all surfaces to remove soot
- Deodorized with thermal fog
- Scrubbed the air with HEPA-filtered devices
- Cleaned the ducts and HVAC system
We also sent a crew to stand by during the health inspection in case the inspector raised any issues. The inspector was satisfied with the cleaning and deodorizing and permitted the restaurant to open the morning after the fire.
Hire SERVPRO for Fire Restoration
When your restaurant needs to get back in business quickly following a fire, call our office at 781-861-0500. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Tips for Mold in Your Home
Again, mold is EVERYWHERE! But here are some tips to help you rid of unnecessary mold.
- Fix water problems! Without moisture, mold cannot grow so don't feed it. If you see water damage get it fixed immediately!
- Keep the materials dry - stay aware by using your sense of smell also
- Control the humidity by keeping levels below 60%
- Ventilate "wet" rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens
- Change filters for your air condition or dehumidifier
- Toss moldy items - while some material can be saved they usually are not worth it. Keeping these items around can affect other items as well as make the air quality poorer
- Limit houseplants or refrain from over-watering them
- If the mold is visible remediate mold. Give us a call at 781.861.0500 to get a free estimate for your mold remediation. Our SERVPRO technicians are certified to remove mold from residential and commercial properties whether it be an attic, basement, bathroom or even crawlspace!
The International Code Council wants to keep people aware of "what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy-efficient homes and buildings."
Here are some tips they offer in regards to Disaster Safety & Mitigation:
- If you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from windbourne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up
- Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your home. Follow ICC/NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family
- In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc) and coarse fuels (dead twigs, branches, etc.) within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks and walkways. Follow ICC's International Wildland-Urban Interface Code for detailed requirements.
- Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It only takes 6 inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.
Protect yourself from the storm
As storm season approaches, it is important to keep your property safe as well as your loved ones. Here are some tips to take into account:
- Have a communication plan is very important!
- Prepare an emergency supply kit* including a battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio
- Post pone outdoor activities and secure any outdoor objects that can become airborne
- Don't use corded phones or electronics that plug in
- Seek shelter in a home, building or hard top automobile
- Avoid windows and doors, don't lie on concrete and stay off porches
- Steer clear of open isolated structures
After the storm:
- Avoid storm damaged areas such as downed power lines
- Do not try to drive through a flooded roadway
- Replenish your emergency supplies and repair property damage
*Follow this link to learn more about Building An Emergency Kit
While SERVPRO is mostly known for residential water and fire restoration, it is important to know that we can also handle commercial losses! Those losses go beyond just water and fire though as we remediate mold as well as provide general cleaning services.
We know when emergencies happen there is a lot at stake -- especially at commercial properties! Why not have help at your fingertips with SERVPRO's Ready App!
Use this for your home and business, as a owner, property manager, risk manager and facility management. When you create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) using the Ready App it gives us access to critical facility information that helps speed up our response time.
If you want helping setting up an ERP, call us at 781-647-9100 and we can set up to have one of our Marketing Representatives walk you through the process!
During this past spring, we got to learn a bit about sump pumps!
Sump pumps are usually located in the basement of many properties, both residential and commercial. The purpose of the sump pump is to relocate water from flooding away from the property. What many of our customers experienced was due to the water tables being low and then rapidly rising due to the wet weather (rain and snow).
While there is no size disaster we cannot restore, it is important to know as a property owner what your insurance does and does NOT cover! While many of our customers were covered, some of them had no coverage at all because they never purchased a sump pump rider on top of the insurance policy!
Make sure when you are purchasing a property and an insurance policy, that you are paying for an insurance that will cover all different attractions in you home. It's a true bummer to have damage to your property and then find out you have no coverage like you assumed!
Classes of Mold
Like we always say, mold is everywhere and not all molds are harmful to us! Molds are often found in wet, damp places and can vary in color and smell. Mold is put into different categories based on their hazard:
Hazard Class C: While this group of molds are not health hazards – they can cause structural damages, and are recommended to be removed.
Hazard Class B: These are molds that if endured over long periods of time can cause allergic reactions
Hazard Class A: These are the molds we want to identify and remove immediately! These molds create toxins and if not handle correctly the air quality of a structure with steadily decline.
If you feel like your home or business might be affected by mold, give us a call at 781-647-9100. While we cannot determine what type of mold it may be – we can remediate it with no worry!
Ways to prevent water and mold damage!
There are different ways that water can affect your property and if the mitigation is prolonged it can cause the building structure to become a food source for mold. Here are some precautions to take to try and avoid these kinds of damages to your property
- Inspect water lines every 6 to 12 months for sinks, toilets, and tubs as well as home appliances such as washing and drying machine, dishwashers. Things to check for include cracks, looseness, and corrosion of pipes. If a leak is found, shut off the water to it until it can be fixed!
- During cold weather, allow water to run through the pipes as it minimizes the risks of pipes freezing and bursting.
- Replace the hose on your washing machine supply every five years and keep your machine properly balanced! When the washing machine is not in use – shut off the water!
- As tempting as it maybe, do not run water appliances when no one is home!
Roof & Gutters:
- While you can routinely check your roof and gutters, it is great to have a professional come every three years check your roof out for you. Keeping your gutters clear help water from entering your home and cluttered gutters promote mold!
- If the roof doesn’t have a drip edge or cap, consider installing one because it aids in capturing water into the gutters. Make sure the downspouts are not facing he foundation of the structure – try to buy extenders to get the water at least 6 feet away from your property
- Check your attic’s ventilation and insulation, seal gaps that allow warm air into the attic. We don’t want ice dams forming up there!
- Test your sump pump and the water pressure in the home.
- Always know where your water shut-off valve is in case of emergency!
More Flood Facts
Floods force you to think fast!
- Flash floods can bring walls of water from 10 to 20 feet high
- Flooding can be caused by spring thawing (snow and frozen grounds melting in the spring), heavy rains, snow melt runoffs, flash floods and mud-flows
- Floods are the most widespread natural disaster aside from wildfires
- In preparation for a flood, it is important to stock up on first aid items, non-perishable foods, three gallons of water per person for three days, battery operated radio for weather reports, extra batteries and personal hygiene necessities.
- A 2,000 square foot home undergoing 12 feet of water damage could cost more than a $50,000 to repair.
At SERVPRO we are always preparing for large losses and we have teams set up all over the nation to come in and help homes and businesses get back to "Like it never even happened."
The Roof is on Fire!
We’ve all done and said it. We have all “raised the roof” at some point because it was on metaphorical fire. But what does one do when it is literal? In non-musical proportions, this recently happened to one of our local businesses. Boston Rhythmic, a rhythmic gymnastics school, had a fire in their Watertown location. Their roof was literally on fire. Their sprinkler system managed to retard the fire from spreading but water damage ensued.
To paraphrase the owner of the company, she never thought she would face that type of disaster. Never her business. Water had spread at the back end of the facility and the bathrooms were nonfunctional by the time the restoration crew arrived.
It is at these types of circumstances that we are forced to respect the wisdom: better safe than sorry. SERVPRO offers Emergency Ready Profiles to give business owners peace of mind as they become disaster ready. ERP’s are a free service we provide to consolidate all building information to respond to any disaster, small or large. Whether it is knowing the where the electric shutoff is to your main building to have the property owner’s contact information, ERP’s allow SERVPRO to respond to your needs in a timely manner.
Why raise the roof when you can prepare for the fire?
Dirty Air Ducts in Brand New Homes?
As the owner of two SERVPRO franchises, I decided in 2016 to move closer to my business, located in Waltham. I purchased a brand new home that is 9 minutes from my office and the house is great! I was very excited to move into a home that has just been built. I thought there will be nothing to fix because it is “brand new”… I was wrong!
When the home inspection was done, it was revealed that the air duct system (HVAC) was loaded with sawdust. Because SERVPRO cleans air duct systems, I knew exactly what had happened and what was needed to be done. The house was built in the winter, so all the wood was cut inside the house! I have all hardwood floors, large baseboards, wainscoting and crown molding…there is a lot of wood! They cleaned up most of the sawdust in the house but did nothing with the air duct system.
The house was on the market for over 200 days before I bought it. The impressive amount of sawdust sat inside the air duct system through the hottest and most humid of days in the summer months. The air conditioner was only turned on when potential buyers, like me, would visit. Here is a short lesson on the creation of mold:
Sawdust (organic material) + Moisture (high humidity) = Fungal Growth (Mold)
Because I own a company that cleans HVAC, this was an easy problem for me to fix. Due to the size of the house, the cost to clean my 2 systems in a 2,300 sf house would be around $1,100. If you purchase a brand new home, you should check the filters and see if it is loaded with sawdust. This can be a very serious problem for children with asthma or anyone sensitive to mold. Some people live with poor health for years because they never check the system that provides the air that they breathe! If you live in a home that has air ducts of any kind, you should have them cleaned every couple of years. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your families’ health.
– Steve Taylor, Owner of SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford & SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland.
Your Loss is Ours Too!
Water mitigation to homes and businesses is a major service we offer here at SERVPRO and it is a large majority of the work we tend to. We know that no matter how small or big the loss is, there is a sense of urgency to aid our customers back to making it “Like it never even happened.” Whether it be a residential or commercial property, we understand peoples’ lives are affected and it can make them feel as if their property is no longer theirs.
At SERVPRO we strive to provide our customers with excellent service from the moment we pick up the phone. We love to address the customers concerns and make sure we cover all grounds to get your property restored as soon as possible. When our Production Manager or our Crew Chiefs get to the property they are the first impression of our company and we always want to leave a great lasting first impression.
We work with our customers to set up monitoring times and most feel comfortable enough to give us access to their homes even when they are not there. We give our customers daily updates on the dry out process and if anything changes during process we consult with them before making any major adjustments.
It’s always a pleasure to speak with our customers after their property is dried out and make their home theirs again! We always remind them that we are always here to help!
Prepare your Commercial property for a Hurricane!
Just 3 months ago, SERVPROs from all over the country headed to Virginia Beach and North Carolina to help residents and businesses affected by Hurricane Matthew. Commercial losses are just as important as residential ones and SERVPRO strives to get you back into business in a timely manner. We know how many factors go into getting your business back on track after a disaster so here are some things to take into consideration
- Review the property insurance with an insurance agent to determine concerns of a hurricane
- Write up some protective procedures for not only the structure of the business but also the contents
- Inform key employees of what their responsibilities are in regards to hurricane procedures and even try to set up an employee training program
- Consider having these protective tools on hand: heavy plastic sheeting, duct tape, masking tape, sandbags, an emergency generator, storm shutters, chain saw, large pieces of plywood and hand tools
- Make a plan for the protection of your computer files
- Monitor a local radio or television station that gives official emergency information and instructions
- Document the interior and the exterior of your business with pictures! This helps significantly with insurance claims
- Package insurance policies and financial records into waterproof containers so you have quick and accurate information to provide
- Clean all the drains, gutters and downspouts of the property
- Remove antenna or loose objects from the room
- Bring in things that are usually left outside, remove outdoor signs and secure loose objects that can cause possible damage if there are strong winds
- If the property has glass frontage, clear the area as much as possible and board it up with shutters or wood. If you do not have shutters or boards, try masking or duct tape and tape the window in an “X” fashion to reduce shattering.
- Move things away from the windows to avoid water damage
- Clear flat surfaces of small loose objects and take down all loosely secured pictures, plaques
- Relocate files, boxes, computers, office machines and other equipment to the driest place in the building. Try not to leave boxes on the floor and remove contents within lower file cabinet drawers to a secure location
- Try to keep an inventory of where all things were relocated so when it is time to unpack you’re saving time!
- Disconnect electronics and equipment and try to secure with tarpaulins and tape.
Last but not least, do not hesitate to contact your local SERVPRO. We are faster to any sized disaster and there is no loss we cannot handle!
To Mold or Not to Mold
Here's one of our 1000 CFM AFD's doing its job as we remediated a kitchen full of mold!
There is mold everywhere!
While some molds can affect our health - there are molds that we benefit from! Molds can be used for medicines, for foods and wines (we all know someone who loves that extra stinky cheese) and molds biggest contribution is bio-degradation in the environment!
Mold turns into "bad mold" when it is on a sustainable food source and for many properties owners they can go months without noticing mold until they smell it - especially in the warmer months of the year! Most building materials (drywall, wood framing, wood sub flooring, debris, contents) act as hosts for these "bad" molds and when it is not remediated properly the problem can continue.
SERVPRO uses Air Scrubbers during Mold Remediations as a mean to collect airborne mold spores, bacteria and other debris.
Ice Dams Damaging your Property
In the winter season we can expect weather like snow, freezing rain, hail and cold winds. A mixture of snow and winds can create ice dams on your property. While the ice dams may look aesthetically pleasing - they can cause lots of damage to your property!
Ice dams form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. Since the trapped water has no way to safely flow into the gutter system, it can back-flow under the roof's shingles and into the structure's interior areas.
Many people are unaware of the damaged caused by ice dams until the snow has melted away and it's summer! They'll go into their attic and a moldy odor will attack their sense of smell, they call us at 781-861-0500 to properly mitigate the water and remediate any mold!
PASS the Fire!
Fires aren't something we come across too often but once they start they can become massive. Portable fire extinguishers aid in being a life and property saving tool. The NFPA (The National Fire Protection Association hopes the word PASS will help people remember how to properly use a fire extinguisher
Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side
Reading the instructions on the extinguisher and familiarizing yourself with one helps you prepare incase a fire breaks out. There are limitations to fire extinguishers so it is important that you have the correct type and use them for the correct purposes! If you need more help on finding the appropriate extinguisher visit www.NFPA.org
Tis the Season for Safety
Lights and decorations add to the mood of the holiday season, but if they are not used properly your holidays can go from festive to frightening. Follow these simple safety tips and you can greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business.
Candle Safety - December is the peak month for home candle fires. More than half of all candle fires start because the candles were too close to flammable objects. Consider using flameless candles instead of real candles
Christmas Tree Safety - Local fire departments respond to an average of 250 Christmas tree related fires every year. If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant. If you choose a live tree, pick a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source.
Decorative Lights - When purchasing decorative lights, make sure they are properly labeled and have been inspected by an independent testing laboratory. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of lights; some lights are designed for only indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
Remember to turn off all candles and lights when exiting the room or before falling asleep!
The Science behind Drying
Psychometrics, the science of measuring mental capacities and processes, is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its pre-loss condition. Though the initial reaction maybe to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages.
When you suffer a water damage, we will:
- Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening
- Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly
- Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment
How can we “speed up Mother Nature” you ask? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material-but only Is the air is, indeed, drier. Nature takes too long though and can cause secondary damages while the building is drying out. Our equipment allows us to dry out hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls and much more.
Floods & What to do?
Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, does not mean you won’t in the future. According to the American Red Cross (ARC) floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather related disaster. The ARC offers the following flood safety tips:
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgement about running water or contaminated water.
- If a flood does strike your home or business, contact your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals because we are equipped to handle all sizes of losses.
FEMA Flood Tips
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has some tips to prepare your home or business for a flood
Before the flood
- Have a qualified professional elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel if susceptible to flooding
- Install “check valves” in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home or business
- Seal walls in basement with waterproofing compounds to help avoid seepage
During the flood
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so
- Disconnect electrical appliances
- Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water
- Do not walk through moving water. Even six inches of moving water can make you fall
After the flood
- Listen for news reports to learn if the community’s water supply is safe to drink
- Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged
- Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters
- Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe
Our Responsibility for Property
Often times when damage occurs to a home or business, more than just the structure of the property can be damaged but contents, or personal belongings, can also be affected. In situations where SERVPRO takes in contents to be restored, we are ultimately in custody of the property until it is returned. When the property is under our custody, we take responsibility for it fully.
- Responsibility for another’s goods commences when goods are received and terminates upon delivery of goods back to the owner. SERVPRO will document a written list of items received, the condition of the contents, and secure a written acceptance sign-off from the owner when the property is returned.
Develop a Maintenance Program for Storage
- Building and mechanical systems should be maintained in good working conditions. Repairs, services or updates should only be completed by licensed contractors.
- Roofing surfaces and drains should be inspected frequently and repaired as needed
- Automatic sprinkler system should be inspected annually by a licensed contractor.
- High hazard exposures such as flammable or combustible materials should be identified and properly protected, or eliminated.
- A no smoking policy should be in place and strictly enforced
- Trash and debris should be removed and disposed in an exterior dumpster
- The building exterior should appear safe and secure to try to prevent burglary, which is often a crime of opportunity.
- Access into a facility should be restricted and controlled.
When someone else’s property is under our care we have a liability to care for the property.
The SERVPRO Process
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to safely clean and restore your home or business after it's faced a loss
Below are the steps that we take for Cleaning and Restoring Your Home or Business in regards to a water loss:
- Identify the Source/ Type of Water
- Measure Temperature and Humidity for Drying Analysis
- Survey the Extent of Damage and Inspect the Premises for Hidden Moisture
- Perform Emergency Water Extraction
- Move and Block furniture and Contents
- Inspect Carpet Pad/Carpet and Provide Service
- Apply Necessary Treatments (Disinfectants/Deodorization)
- Utilize Advanced Drying and Monitoring Equipment
- Dispose of Refuse
All of our technicians are IICRC certified and have extensive knowledge about our services and equipment. Even if we can’t do the job we will help in finding a service who can handle it.
Being Prepared for Natural Disasters
Natural disasters can strike whenever but being prepared on your part can save you time, money and effort. How fast your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. Though every situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.
- Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your company? Do you know what you will do in an emergency situation?
Develop a Business Continuity Plan
- Do you know which staff, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating? Do you have back-up pans for those operations? Do you know what you will do if your building or plant is not accessible? Do you know what you will do if your suppliers are impacted by disaster? Are you ready for utility disruptions?
Prepare your Emergency Plan
- Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-pace plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with employees before, during and after an incident? Do you have copies of building and site maps with utilities and emergency routes marked? Are your employees trained for medical emergencies?
Practice the Emergency Plan
- Have you practiced your plan recently? Do you practice and coordinate with other businesses in your building or industrial complex? Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?
Review Insurance Coverage
- Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster?
Secure Your Facility and Equipment
- Have you secured all the ways people, products and supplies get into your building? Have you conducted a room-by-room walk through to determine what can be strapped down?
Improve Cyber Security
- Do you regularly install patches to your software? Have you installed a firewall on your computer? Do you regularly update your anti-virus software?
Promote Family and Individual Preparedness
- Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your business
SERVPRO Water Mitigation Process
Water Damage Cleanup & Restoration
SERVPRO can provide a solution to your property's (regardless of whether it's your home or business) water damage needs.
- Uniformed Franchise Professionals will arrive on-site usually within four hours of notification to begin providing a resolution to the water damage situation
- Technicians communicate their assessment with the property manager or owner in detail before beginning the cleanup and restoration process
- Franchise Professionals utilize industry guidelines, knowledge, training and industrial equipment to examine the extent of the damage
- Restoration services include moisture detection, water extraction, dehumidification and contents inventory
- Closing the event work order in a timely manner through electronic claims reporting, consistent communication and professional restoration techniques
- SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, no matter rain, hail or snow
What you don't see
Removing surface water can help prevent more extensive damage. however, water intrusions invade floors, ceilings and walls to find the lowest point in your home. Standing water from an overflowing bathtub or other water incidents will search for pin hole crevices and cracks in your floor and walls looking for a way to travel downward. Surfaces such as wood, drywall and carpet pull water away from plain sight and into the interiors of your home.
Should a water incident occur in your home, remove excess water with mopping or blotting, remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying and pace aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs. These tips may prevent further damage to your home and personal belongings.
SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help get your life back. Contact us at 781-647-9100
Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Killer
You can't see or smell carbon dioxide, but at high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. CO is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas and propane burn incompletely. An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or idling cars left running in garages.
Taking some basic , precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves, inspected by a trained professional every year
- Open the damper for proper ventilation before using the fireplace
- Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home
- Make sure all fuel-burning vented equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked
- If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice or other materials
- Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris
- Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
- Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home.
Bio-hazard, Vandalism & Crime Scene
Though these kinds of clean ups are not our main selling points, SERVPRO is still equipped to handle these losses.
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- SERVPRO removes and disposes of bodily fluids, tissue and other potential pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.
- Methamphetamine Labs
- Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO follows federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.
- Crime Scene Residues
- From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO can clean and restore your property and contents.
- Arson & Vandalism
- SERVPRO is recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. We also provide general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods and human or animal waste.
- Sewage Backup
- Sewage backups and back water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits - these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO removes the sewage, contaminants and moisture, disinfecting as they clean.
Improving Air Quality
The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process
- The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
- Next, a powerful push-pulll air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
- As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
Call us at 781-647-9100 to see how we can best improve your home or businesses air quality. We can make it like it never even happened!
What is Lurking in Your Air Ducts?
Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority.
In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirt ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home. In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process.
Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money. SERVPRO can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage conditions.
- We provide free written inspections and estimates
- Eliminate offensive odors
- Restore peak energy efficiency
- Reduce potential for mold growth
- Remediate bacteria, fungi and mold
SERVPRO does services outside of water and fire mitigation restoration! Structural integrity materials, labor safety, customer satisfaction and deadlines - the list goes on when building a commercial facility. The bottom line, however, is you are responsible for getting the doors open on time.
Once the floors are down and the drywall is up, it's time to remove the debris and dirt in order to lay carpet, paint and decorate. SERVPRO can provide debris removal services to prepare the building for interior design.
During the construction phase, a building can trap moisture and excessive moisture can result in mold growth. SERVPRO can help eliminate moisture and prevent potential mold growth.
Post Construction Services we provide:
- Carpet, resilient and non-resilient floor prep and finish
- Ceilings, walls and fixture cleaning
- Air Duct Cleaning
- Debris Removal (if necessary)
- Window Cleaning
Mold - Don't Let It Grow!
While fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment and can add value to our lives (such as yeast, blue cheese, mushrooms and penicillin), other forms of mold can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to mold may present health concerns for some people.
Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increase risk of harmful mold growth. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish.
Be alert for:
- The presence of visible mold
- Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth
- Excessive humidity
Help is here, if you think you might have a mold problem call us at 781-647-9100
Escape Planning for your Business
An emergency escape plan is not required for all business, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an Emergency situation. Here are some tips:
- Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company's emergency plans.
- You may wish to select an individual(s) to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.
- Once a plan is developed, post evacuation procedures, including routes and exits, where they are easily accessible to all employees.
- Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all time.
- Conduct office evacuation exercises and drills.
- Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover and conduct a head count. Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
Your Business & Indoor Air Quality
Did you know that healthier air saves you money?
Sick building syndrome became apparent as groups of people displayed similar symptoms after having spent extended periods of time in buildings with poor air quality. While mold is naturally found in the environment, an abundance of mold can cause illnesses and SERVPRO recommends it needs to be removed immediately.
The World Health Organization says that poor indoor air quality costs $60 billion in employee sick leave and lost production. As a business owner, your responsibility is to provide proper maintenance and prompt response to any situation that could cause illness or health concerns.
You have one chance to make a first impression with your customers. SERVPRO can create a clean, fresh and long lasting impression by providing carpet cleanings, general structure cleanings, upholstery cleanings, HVAC & air duct systems.
Plan To STAY In Business
Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes. As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster.
Step 1: Plan to stay in business
Step 2: Encourage your people to become Ready
Step 3: Protect your investment
Tips to help your business be Ready:
- Update and Distribute Emergency Contact information to your Employees
- Additionally, you can create and distribute a list of important emergency numbers in the areas you do business.
- Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company's emergency plan.
- Conduct Office Evacuation/Shelter-in-Place Exercises and Drills.
- Once completed, evaluate how well they worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
- Put Emergency Items on Display
- Showcase an Emergency Supply Kit in your break room or other high-traffic locations and encourage employees to get their Emergency Supply Kits for their homes.
Large Loss and Storm Response Program
SERVPRO's Large Loss Response Team was recruited to serve commercial large loss needs. This elite group of large loss specialists are pre-qualified and strategically positioned throughout the United States with substantial resources through a network of over 1,600 locations. Corporate oversight and communication on every file help to meet the predetermined client-specific needs. Immediate response, available 24/7/365 through 1-800-SERVPRO, will minimize business interruptions.
- Network of Strategically Positioned Storm Teams on Standby
- Immediate Mobilization
- 1-800-SERVPRO - 24/7/365
- Mobile and Local Command Centers
- Pre-Negotiated Pricing
- Corporate Oversight and Real-Time Event Management
- Commercial and Residential Losses Services
- Waiting Lists Minimized
- Back-End Reports for Analysis
- Uniformed Personnel
- Background Checks Required
- 2016 Hurricane Matthew
- 2012 Hurricane Sandy
- 2012 Hurricane Isaac
- 2010 Texas Freeze
- 2010 Alabama Freeze
- 2009 Virginia Floods
- 2009 Atlanta Floods
- 2009 Louisville Floods
- 2009 Southern California Wildfires
- 2009 Montgomery, Alabama Floods
Having recently gone down to Virginia Beach and North Carolina we were thrilled to help the local SERVPRO's, families and businesses get back on track.
Fire, Smoke & Soot Restoration Services
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help provide a solution to your property's fire damage needs.
- Structural Cleaning - After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls woodwork, carpeting and floors will often need a through cleaning. A SERVPRO Franchise Professional will pretest to determine the extent of damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your facility. Depending on the amount of soot, the local SERVPRO Franchise Professional may even be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense incurred with repainting or refinishing.
- Contents Cleaning - All of the tolerable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This included area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to pre-loss condition. Finally, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items if requested.
- Deodorization - SERVPRO Franchise Professionals provide specialized services that rid your place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.
Fire and Smoke Do's and Dont's
- Limit the movement in the house to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork
- Place dry, colorfast towels on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open
- Clean soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances and protect with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil
- Pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls and tubs if heat is off during freezing season
- Wash both sides of leaves on house plants
- Change HVAC filter
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or our of the HVAC system
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional
- Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional
- Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc...) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service
- Consume any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water (They may be contaminated)
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged
- Send Garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor
Know your Smoke
A fire loss is very complex because of the unique behavior of smoke. That is why is it important to have trained technicians at your home or place of business. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals know their smoke!
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas
- Smoke migrates to upper levels of a structure
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor
- The type of smoke will greatly affect the restoration process
Types of Smoke
- Wet Smoke - Plastics and Rubbers
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean
- Dry Smoke - Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises
- Protein Fire Residue - Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor
- Fuel Oil Soot - Furnace Puff Backs
- While "puff backs" can create havoc for your insured, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can in most cases restore the contents and structure
- Other Types - Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue
- Special loss situations require special care. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to handle your toughest losses!
Defending Against Mold Growth
A water damage can result in visible mold growth in as little as 24 to 48 hours, under certain conditions if not properly mitigated.
- Keep humidity between 30 to 60 percent
- Provide for proper drainage away from building foundations
- Regularly inspect plumbing and appliances for leaks
- Keep gutters and drains clear of debris
- Inspect the roof, windows and other areas where water might enter the building, and perform necessary maintenance
- Respond to all water intrusions immediately
- Contact your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional for assistance after a water damage or if you discover mold
Not only does mold have the ability to deteriorate your home but it can also have horrible affects on your personal health. Make sure to reach out to your local SERVPRO if you are facing mold and mildew issues.
"Like it never even happened."
Emergency Fire Damage Tips
Fires are scary monsters whose's flames can engulf a home in under 5 minutes. In case you ever face a fire here are some tips to stay safe:
- Keep hands clean
- Limit movement in the home to prevent further damage
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
- Wipe soot from chrome on faucets and appliances then protect with a light coating of lubricant
- Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional
- Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO® Franchise Professional
- Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water without consulting a repair service
Emergency Water Damage Tips
Water damage can happen in many ways to your home or business. These are SERVPRO recommended tips for clean water situations only:
- Shut off the water source if possible
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs
- Hang furs and leather goods separately at room temperature
- Remove Oriental or other colored rugs from wet carpeting
- Do not use regular vacuum to remove water
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of areas where ceilings are sagging from retained water
- Do not leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpeting
Make sure you give us a call at 781-647-9100 if you ever experience a water damage to your home or business!
Build An Emergency Kit
September's big focus has been Emergency Preparedness.
If a disaster strikes, will you be ready? Being prepared before a disaster strikes is important and one way to do that is to have an emergency kit. Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone. Take action now to protect yourself and your property. Some things that SERVPRO recommends are listed below:
- Water, one gallon per person per day
- Food, non-perishable 3-day supply
- Manual can opener
- Battery operated radio, preferably an NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust masks or bandanas
- Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, if necessary
- Important documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account of information
- Local maps
- Hygiene items
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
Samantha's Cheesy Baked Mac & Cheese
Photo from Serious Eats
Office Administrator and Marketing Coordinator Samantha knows her way around the kitchen since her mother is a chef. Samantha loves cooking, eating soul food and sharing it with others. Besides, who can turn down a great baked mac and cheese?! Check out this yummy recipe!
1 package of macaroni elbows
2 tablespoons of butter
1 can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 cups of milk
2 cups of Kraft shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 cups of Kraft shredded Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
Salt and pepper for taste
Breadcrumbs optional for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish
- In a large pot of salted water, boil macaroni for 7 mins and then drain in strainer. Then move macaroni elbows into 2-quar baking dish
- In a medium pot on low heat combine melted butter, 1 can of cream of mushroom, 1 egg and 2 cups of milk. Stir until all ingredients are smooth. Then add in 1 ½ cups of Sharp Cheddar Cheese and 1 ½ cups of Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
- When sauce is completely whisked together, empty into 2-quart baking dish containing macaroni. Stir the mixture evenly so all macaroni becomes cheesy
- Using remaining cheese, spread over the top of the dish
- Bake uncovered for 25-30 mins
- Enjoy your cheesy baked mac and cheese!
Kristen's Simply Amazing Bar Cookies
Photo Compliments of Eagle Brand Recipes
I like to call these bar cookies simply amazing because they are simple to make and the end result is amazing. These treats are so versatile and indulgent. You can top these bars with a variety of toppings such as candies, chocolate, coconut and nuts, or all of the above. Be creative and try out all of your favorite combinations to satisfy every sweet tooth you know.
1 ½-2 cups Graham crackers or crumbs
1 can condensed milk, I prefer Eagle Brand®
1 stick of melted butter
Toppings of your choice
Preheat oven to 350°
Spray bottom of 13x9 glass baking dish with non-stick spray.
Crush graham crackers to a preferred texture or use pre-crushed crumbs.
Mix crumbs with melted butter and press mixture into the bottom of baking dish.
Drizzle top with condensed milk, allowing it to spread evenly over the mixture.
Top with your choice of toppings. My kids love chocolate and butterscotch chips.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Using a pizza cutter, cut the cookies into bars.
Store left over cookies in refrigerator.
Lisa's Recipe For The Perfect Chili
Office Administrator, Lisa Daiute grew up eating this savory Chili made by her favorite uncle David. Throughout the years she has continued this delicious tradition in her own home, making it for her roommates and family.
The Perfect Chili Recipe
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup masa harina (corn flour, found in the Mexican food section of many supermarkets)
- One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- Shredded Cheddar, for serving
- Chopped onions, for serving
- Tortilla chips, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess fat, and then pour in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water at a time as needed.
After an hour, place the masa harina in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup water and stir together with a fork. Dump the masa mixture into the chili. Stir together well, and then taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more masa paste and /or water to get the chili to your preferred consistency, or to add more corn flavor. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with shredded Cheddar, chopped onions, tortilla chips and lime wedges.
Team Bedford for the win, AGAIN!
Team Bedford, lead by marketing rep. Amanda Aiken.
Saturday, July 23
Team Bedford & Team Lexington went head to head in a softball tournament to see which team would win the trophy for the 3rd Annual SERVPRO Softball Event.
Local business owners, supportors, and sponsors came out to play Saturday morning bringing non perishable food items to donate to our local food pantry. This is our third year putting together a softball event and every year they just keep getting better. Last year Team Bedford won the trophy and this year we would like to say congrats to Team Bedford on being the victors, they were lead by Marketing Representative and Team Captain, Amanda Aiken! Team Bedford won 15-5. Better luck next year Team Lexington. We already can not wait for next summers tournament, will Team Lexington finally defeat Team Bedford? Stay tuned.
Team Watertown are the Champs! Now it's just up to team Lexington to take home the trophy on 7/23/16
Team Watertown takes home the winning trophy
Satuday, July 16
Team Watertown and Team Waltham from our Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland franchise went head to head in a softball match at Arsenal Park in Watertown to see who would take home the Softball Champion Trophy. The victor's this past weekend were Team Watertown! Congrats team! Our Marketing Representative's Vanessa Vicente and Amanda Aiken were the team captains who lead their team to victory. It was a great turn out last weekend especially for it being our first annual Waltham vs. Watertown game. Can't wait for next year.
Saturday, July 23
We will be hosting our 3rd Annual Lexington vs. Bedford Softball game at Springs Brook Park in Bedford. Last year team Bedford took home the trophy, this year will it be team Lexington? May the best team win! Stay tuned.
Emergency Trauma Cleanup
Trauma, Crime scene clean-up.
At SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford, our goal is to provide an emergency response whenever we are needed. Emergency situations include:
- Standing water to be extracted (especially sewage)
- Fire scene that needs to be secured
We have a production manager and crew on call through the night and over the weekend in order to respond to these emergencies as they arise.
Evening Trauma Scene
For example, a local property manager recently called us to a trauma scene at the end of the workday. Her tenant had fallen down a flight of stairs and through a plate glass window. Upon arrival, Production Manager Tim Owens found a mess of glass and blood that needed immediate attention. This situation presented not only a health risk for building occupants but also a horrific scene for them to observe.
After confirming the police investigation was complete, our crew began cleaning the debris and safely disposing of it as a biohazard. Instead of heading home for dinner with their families, they donned their personal protective equipment and contained all of the debris for proper disposal. This task lasted until nearly midnight, but our crew managed to get the site sanitized and safe for occupation.
Call Us Any Time, 24/7
Remember to call SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford whenever you have a flood, a fire, or a bodily trauma scene requiring immediate attention. Our professionals are always here to help make it…Like it never even happened.®
SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford will be hosting a Lexington vs. Bedford softball game on Saturday, July 23, 2016
Flyer for the event.
SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford will be hosting a Lexington vs. Bedford softball game on Saturday, July 23, 2016 to benefit local food pantries. We are looking for sponsors and players.
We will be playing at the Springs Brook Park, 181 Springs Rd., Bedford, Mass. Warm-ups will begin at 9:00 am and then the game starts at 10:00 am. All players are asked to bring a glove and a non-perishable food item that we will donate to a local food pantry.
Each player will receive a t-shirt, and SERVPRO® will serve hot dogs and chips after the game. Players are encouraged to bring their families and enjoy the picnic!
In addition to bragging rights, a trophy will be awarded to the Chamber of Commerce in the winning community.
If you would like to play, please contact Maria Aguirre at 781-861-0500 for more information.
We are also looking for sponsors for the game. Sponsorships cost $50. Sponsors logos will be printed on the players’ t-shirts, and sponsors are welcome to bring a tent and pass out marketing materials at the game.
If you would like to be a sponsor, please make your check payable to Maria Aguirre and mail it to 50 Sun St. Ste. 1, Waltham, Mass. 02453. We must receive payment by July 15, 2016 to include your logo on the t-shirts.
Please Join Us
The SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford franchise has hosted a Lexington vs. Bedford game the past two years that has been a lot of fun. Lexington won the first year, and last year was Bedford’s turn to dominate. Now that we are also the SERVPRO® of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland franchise, we are looking forward to establishing a rivalry between Waltham and Watertown as well.
If you have any questions about playing or sponsoring the game, please call 781-861-0500 and speak to Maria. Click here ==> Softball List to be added to our email list and receive updates.
It Is Time to Schedule Your Air Duct Cleaning in Lexington
Residential Air Duct System
Spring has sprung and it is time to clean out the funk of the winter here in Lexington, Mass. The temperature will rise above 75 degrees today, and when it does, we will all be thinking about turning on our air conditioners.
Is there anything worse than the blast of foul air and dust that emerges the first time you turn on your car air conditioner in the spring? How about the air that comes from your central air system?
Dust and other allergens are lurking in your duct work. Dust can contain:
- Skin cells
For some people, especially those with asthma and other health issues, the dust in duct work can be harmful if circulated in the home. The NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaning Association) states that we should clean our duct work because of human health concerns, energy management, and indoor environmental concerns. Cleaning your ducts can lower the costs of utility bills, and allergy and asthma sufferers can be helped when ducts are cleaned.
SERVPRO® to the Rescue
SERVPRO® provides air duct cleaning services that may differ from other companies. Instead of just cleaning the registers with a vacuum, our franchise professionals put the entire system under negative pressure. We cut into the supply line and return and connect a commercial negative air machine, which creates negative pressure. We then pull the air through the system, and the negative pressure contains the dust. This push/pull process is the most efficient way to clean the air ducts and insure that the system is thoroughly cleaned.
Call SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford today to schedule your duct cleaning and improve your home’s air quality before you turn on the air conditioning this year. Breathe healthy, Lexington!
Little Red Heaven
Valentine's Day Little Red Heaven
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets
Combine in a large bowl:
Red Velvet Cake Mix
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons of Lemon Juice
Blend with a wooden spoon until smooth
Combine in a small bowl
8 ounces of cream Cheese
1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
Blend until smooth
Shape dough into 1 inch ball
Flatten in the palm of your hand
Dab cream cheese into the center of the dough
Roll the dough so it goes around the cream cheese and reforms into a ball.
Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets
Bake 8 to 9 minutes, until the edges are set.
Storm Team has arrived!
Locally Owned and Operated
Ice dams and burst pipes are making this the most disasterous winter in our SERVPRO history. We have been inundated with calls for both issues due to the extreme snow and cold temperatures. However, what sets SERVPRO apart is our ability to mobilize and work together all across this country whenever an event like this happes. We have Storm Team here to assist is loss mitigation so please keep calling us and 1800-SERVPRO.
SERVPRO of Lexington/Bedford Moves to Waltham
Garage space at SERVPRO's new location.
SERVPRO of Lexington/Bedford has been serving Massachussets for over 30 years and has recently purchased the SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland franchise. The office location will be moved to 50A Sun Street in Waltham, MA on February 1, 2015! The office is located close to the downtown area of Waltham and is over 10,000 square feet. An open house will be planed for the Summer of 2015.
SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford's 30th Anniversary Party
Please celerbrate with us!
September 9th 2014
Double Tree Hotel - Bedford
5:15pm to 7:15pm
The Taylor Family purchased the franchise in 1984 with the goal of helping people with homes or businesses that had fire, water or mold damage. " In the past 30 years we are proud to have helped thousands of customers "