Recent Water Damage Posts
Measuring Our Efforts with Moisture Meters
Detecting moisture behind a wall with a moisture meter
Restoring your property following a flood is all about getting building materials and contents dry as soon as possible.
The longer everything remains wet, the more likely you will have to deal with mold growth or permanently unsalvageable materials.
Our production manager will bring a moisture meter when assessing your water damage to measure how much moisture is in various areas and materials in the building. These measurements guide our recommendations and allow us to evaluate our efforts during the drying period.
A thermal imaging camera shows us where to look for water hidden behind walls and beneath floors by revealing temperature changes around a room. A moisture meter identifies whether water is responsible for any temperature differences found.
Our aim when restoring a water damage is to return the property to preloss condition. A building will not be completely dry at the end of the job, as there is always some amount of humidity in the air.
When we first arrive at your loss, we will measure the moisture in a room unaffected by the flooding. This measurement will indicate the usual humidity of the building, and that will be our target for determining when our drying efforts have reached preloss condition.
Daily Moisture Readings
Each day during your restoration project, our technicians monitor progress at your location. They make sure all equipment is running as expected, and that drying is proceeding as it should.
Daily moisture meter readings show us whether or not the humidity is going down in each treatment area. If we find drying has stalled, we will figure out why. We want to avoid wasting time and money on extra drying days.
A moisture meter is just one of the many tools we use to dry your building after a flood. Call on our trained and certified professional restoration technicians when you have a flood. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Locating Water with a Camera
Thermal imaging cameras let us see through walls after a flood
In the aftermath of a flood, your first concern will be to get rid of visible water, but you also need to find and dry any hidden water as well.
You risk secondary effects of rotten building materials or mold growth if you do not get your property fully dry.
Our production managers bring thermal imaging cameras when responding to water losses. These cameras read heat radiation and can alert us to water trapped out of sight.
If we find the temperature varies in one spot, we then use a moisture meter to determine whether the difference in temperature is caused by water.
Thermal imaging cameras allow us to manage expenses related to your water loss. If we couldn’t see behind the walls, we would have to tear the walls open to investigate or risk not drying your building correctly the first time.
After a flood you need to know what you are faced with and what it will take to recover quickly. Thermal imaging cameras show you exactly where the trouble spots are. Armed with this information you will know what is required to preserve as much of your building as possible.
At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we pride ourselves on applying the latest science and technology to drying your property after a water damage. Call us first following a flood. We have crews available around the clock to respond to your flood emergency.
Hot Water Heater Floods Lexington Basement
Call SERVPRO if your hot water heater fails
Hot water heaters create huge water losses when they fail. All that water pouring out of the tank can quickly cover the entire floor.
A basement hot water heater water loss can be very costly when irreplaceable mementos stored in the basement are saturated with contaminated water or mold grows in the humid environment.
Lexington Hot Water Heater
Last month, a homeowner was in the hospital when her hot water heater failed and water started pouring out of the furnace. Fortunately, a family member was home and called us immediately.
When our production manager arrived on the scene an hour later, there was standing water in the affected areas including carpet, tile, and vinyl flooring. Water had flowed from the furnace to a storage room, and then on to a laundry room and bathroom.
We started this job by extracting as much water as we could from carpet and hard surface flooring using a truck-mounted extractor.
Next, we applied a botanical anti-microbial solution to discourage mold growth during our dry out.
Carpet and Contents
The carpet was too contaminated to be salvaged, so we removed it and its padding for disposal. We also had to move around a lot of the storage contents and appliances to be able to access all of the floor and create the right air flow for drying.
We installed 13 air movers to draw water out of wet materials and one dehumidifier to pull the water vapor out of the air.
When everything had reached the drying standard, we cleaned the hard surface floors.
Call a Professional
As you can see, there is a lot to manage after a hot water heater fails and dumps water all over your basement. Regular hot water heater inspections can alert you to a problem before it happens, but sometimes old tanks let go without warning.
Call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford if your hot water tank gives way and leaves you with a mess. We know what to do next. We have the tools and training to minimize your costs and get it all dry before mold starts growing.
Bedford, Mass: Who Watches Your Home When You Go on Vacation?
Having someone check your home while you are away will help protect your building and contents
When you go out of town, do you have someone checking on your home? Does this person know where to shut off the water? Can you be reached if the heat is not working?
Who Watches Your Home, Bedford?
This month of holiday parties and prep often culminates in an out-of-town trip for Massachusetts residents. Before you head out of town this season, be sure you have someone watching your house for you.
Maybe you do not have pets and you are confident your plants will survive in your absence, but so many other things can go wrong. You can best protect your building and contents by having a responsible individual check in to ensure building systems are running as intended.
Broken Pipes and Hoses
You are probably aware of the need to protect your pipes when temperatures plummet in Bedford, Mass., but pipes, valves, and hoses can fail any time of year. Having someone check your home will help control the expense and the extent of damage if a pipe bursts or a hot water heater fails.
When you are not home to realize the heat has stopped working, three days out of town can turn into weeks of disaster recovery. Regular visits while you are away will ensure you are alerted early to any service issues.
Also remember, you may have set the temperature in your home for 55 degrees when you left. Which may be warm enough for your pipes when the temperature outside stays above 25 degrees. However, when a cold snap rolls in, you should have someone visit your home and boost the thermostat when the temperature drops below 20. Otherwise, you could return to a water damage that requires a major rehab of the building.
Ready Plan Speeds up Recovery
Preparing a Ready Plan before you go out of town will ensure you have all the information in one place on your phone that you would need in the event of a building emergency. You can also share this plan with those you choose to check on your house while you are gone.
Water Damage Specialists
Here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we have been helping residents restore their homes and belongings for decades. Call us first for a water damage. We will make it “Like it Never Even Happened.”
Laundry Pipe Burst in Lexington, Mass.
Small leaks become large losses when no one is home.
Do you run your washing machine or dishwasher when you are not home? You might get away with this 999 times out of 1000. However, if a hose fails or a pipe bursts, the problem will likely get much worse in the time it takes you to return to your home.
Lexington, MA Pipe Burst
We were recently called to a colonial in Lexington, Mass. with a laundry closet on the second floor. The homeowners had started the washer before heading out for the day. Upon their return in the evening, they found a pipe leading to the washer had burst and three floors had water damage. Water had leaked from the laundry closet into the master bedroom and flowed down through the first floor into the basement.
This loss was much more expensive than it would have been had someone been home to hear the water flowing and shut off the water main until a plumber arrived to fix the pipe. Not only was the loss more expensive, but also more intrusive.
In order to dry the house quickly and avert microbial growth, we had to remove several floorboards in the master bedroom and drill holes in the living room wall. Which means these rooms also needed repairs once the house was dry.
Here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we recommend every adult and responsible young adult knows where to shut off the water to the home in the event of a water emergency. Inspecting your washer hoses and replacing aging ones will also help prevent a problem. And running your dishwasher or washing machine only when someone is home is key to keeping a small leak from becoming a major flood.
Get It Dry
Of course, once the damage is done, you need to get your home dry as soon as possible to avoid mold growth. Call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford at the first sign of water intrusion. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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
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!