Recent Storm Damage Posts
Clear Out Clogged Storm Drains
Clear Clogged Drains To Avoid Flooding
Spring is in the air. The temperature may hit sixty degrees in Lexington, Mass. tomorrow. Factor in a fifty percent chance of rain, and there’s a good chance any remaining snow will melt.
Runoff from snow melt often carries debris that will clog storm drains. When the remains of last fall’s leaves and winter’s trash block drainage in your neighborhood, you risk flooding.
Even areas that do not usually experience spring flooding can have a problem when clogged storm drains prevent proper drainage.
Clear Any Blockage
Take the time to check catch basins and storm drains around your home. A few moments cleaning up any debris will help keep your home dry this spring.
Of course, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford is here to help if snow melt and spring showers do flood your property. Our crews are available 24/7 to assist with emergency flood restoration. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Power Outages from the High Winds in Bedford, Mass.
Do you have a plan for a power outage?
Winds whipped through our state earlier this week and left a wake of destruction. Downed trees and power lines caused many residents to lose their heat as well as their electricity just as temperatures were heading to zero degrees.
One tree in the road caused the town of Bedford to reroute traffic only to have to change the route again when another tree fell. One car even had a branch break through two places in its windshield.
Outages Overwhelm Eversource
The widespread destruction quickly overwhelmed Massachusetts utility companies, and they couldn’t get to everyone right away. Several Bedford residents were warned to expect to be without electricity for a day or two.
No Power, No Heat
When the power goes out, many property owners lose their heat as well because their furnace or boiler relies on electricity to spark the system. If you cannot restore power quickly, you risk pipes bursting and turning a minor inconvenience into a major rehab project.
This week, high winds blew in single digit temperatures. Deep cold threatens pipes by itself. Add in several properties without heat, and the danger was even greater.
Power Outage Plan?
What would you do if your business had no heat and you expected subzero temperatures overnight? Do you have a plan?
You have two options when your power is out and a deep freeze is in the forecast.
- Drain all water from your building systems.
- Bring in an alternative power source.
The first requires a plumber, while the second may require an electrician to hook up a generator if you don’t already have one in place. However, electricians and plumbers may be in short supply during a widespread weather event, and you may find you are on a waiting list.
Be Prepared with an ERP
A SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) helps you think through these possibilities in advance, which allows you to act quickly when storm damage threatens your property. An ERP can also equip onsite staff with any information they might need to respond in time of need.
For example, if you own a generator, you have a backup source onsite, but are you confident that everyone in your building knows how the generator works and what it powers? Do they all know where to find the water shut off if a pipe bursts?
Wouldn’t it be great in a crisis if everyone had a list of your preferred vendors easily accessible so they do not hesitate to act and save your business? Remember, the sooner your company calls, the higher up you will be on any waiting list.
Call for Your Free ERP
Our team helps businesses in Bedford and surrounding towns create their ERPs free of charge. We want you to be as safe as possible when things go wrong, and then back in business again as quickly as possible afterward.
Call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford at 781-861-0500 to start your emergency plan before the next storm hits. We want you to be “Ready for whatever happens.”
When a Winter Storm Hits Lincoln, Mass.
Be prepared for winter storms
Temperatures are plummeting here in Middlesex County, and we are settling in for another winter in New England. As you wrap up your holiday preparations, do not forget to check on your emergency supplies to be sure you are equipped for inclement weather.
Winter Storm Heading to Lincoln, MA
When the snow is headed our way, the lines in the stores get ridiculously long. You can avoid much of the last minute shopping by taking stock of your supplies today.
If you find you need anything, you can purchase in advance and take advantage of holiday sales.
Batteries and Lighters
Check your flashlights and battery-operated radios to be sure they will be operational when needed. Confirm that you have dry matches or a lighter in case you need to light a candle or fire.
You should stock at least three gallons of water per person and pet. If you still have last year’s water, now is a good time to use up that supply and replace it with fresh water.
You should be prepared with three days of food for all household members and pets. Canned foods are a great option when the power goes out.
Check the dates on your canned goods, and replace older items with new ones.
You want to be sure you have several days of prescription medicine available for household members who need them. Check the expiration dates of nonprescription items to be certain you can provide for your family’s needs should the need arise.
Last Minute Prep
When a storm is on the horizon and everyone else is standing on line buying batteries and canned soup, you can focus on fuel and power.
Even if you plan to stay home for the duration of the storm, you should be sure your car has a full tank of gas in case you do have to go out for any reason. If possible, schedule a fill for your oil or propane tanks before the snow starts flying as well.
Finally, charge your phones and electronics ahead of time and keep them fully charged while you have power.
If you should suffer any storm damage in Lincoln, Mass., be sure to call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford to begin restoration. We are available for emergency services, and the sooner you call, the sooner we can start on your home’s recovery.
Prepping for Winter in Lexington, Mass.
Prepare now so you can hunker down when winter storms strike
Snow in November and temperatures in the teens on Thanksgiving morning remind us that winter comes early some years. Do not let the early storms deter you from taking proper measures to protect your home this year.
Prepping for Winter in Lexington, MA
Clear Your Gutters
The first snow fell before all the leaves were off the trees. Since then, several rainy weekends have discouraged outdoor chores.
Be sure to get all of the leaves and other debris out of your gutters before Lexington is gripped by frigid temperatures that freeze your gutters solid.
Prevent Burst Pipes
Take care now to prevent pipes from bursting in your home this winter. Turn off the water to outside faucets and plan to keep your home adequately heated throughout the season.
Make a Ready Plan
When you make a Ready Plan with our free app, you will have critical building information at your fingertips that can help you respond effectively in the case of a building emergency.
As we are so often reminded, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Look for Neighborhood Hazards
Buried hydrants and blocked storm drains put your home at risk in the event of fire or flood. Help the Lexington Fire Dept. and DPW stay on top of problems by keeping these critical systems clear and easily accessible.
Call SERVPRO for Restoration
When all else fails and you need a trusted partner to restore your building, call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford. We are available 24/7, rain or shine to help you get your life back 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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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
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."
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!
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
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
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.
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.