Recent Posts

What are the Different Levels of a Commercial Damage?

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO's Large green desiccant unit assisting in drying a commercial property SERVPRO's Large desiccant unit used in large commercial water damages.

SERVPRO of Medford/Everett handles not only residential damage and restoration but commercial as well.

There are three levels of commercial damage that are considered:

Level 1

Level 1 is a small commercial loss typically involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a small commercial loss may include but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or a stand-alone administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.

Level 2

Level 2 is a midsize commercial loss typically involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are usually multi-level or greatly divided spaces. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 2 loss may include but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure.

Level 3

Level 3 is a large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include, but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.”

Once our team at SERVPRO of Medford/Everett determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a team of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently, and return your business to operation “Like it never even happened.”®

Put Help in the Palm of Your Hand

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Tablet/cell phone displaying the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® App Get the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® App today!

At SERVPRO of Medford/Everett we realize it is important to be ready for a storm and disaster can strike at a moment’s notice. Technology working hard to let us be aware of danger with more time to prepare before it hits.  Technology can also be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare. Below are a few things that will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Store Information Online

There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer a free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.

Follow the News

Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.

Mark Yourself Safe

The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish. Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you’re located in the affected area at that time.

Get in Touch

Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.

Charge Up

Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well. Get an Emergency READY Profile®.   SERVPRO® of Medford/Everett is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles® (ERP) for free at ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepares you, your property, or your business for an emergency. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® for your property or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.  Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your property or business. Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App.  

Get in touch with SERVPRO® of Medford/Everett today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business.

How to Properly Use a Fireplace

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Fireplace and hearth with a roaring fire Here’s the proper technique for how to use a fireplace, with safety precautions every homeowner should know.

It’s not even officially winter yet and we’ve already had three snowstorms in the Medford/Everett and North Shore Area!  Nothing beats warming the house with a crackling fire. But while wood-burning fireplaces should give you long-lasting and evenly burning flames, one simple mistake can fill your living room with smoke—or even spark a dangerous house fire. Here’s the proper technique for how to use a fireplace, with safety precautions every homeowner should know.

STEP 1: Stay Safe
Before bringing out the lighter, it’s vital to understand safety precautions for using a fireplace. First, always double-check that your fire extinguisher, smoke detector, and carbon monoxide detector are each in working order (check those batteries!). Remove anything flammable within three feet of the fireplace in case stray sparks escape the hearth, and use a fireplace screen as well. Make sure the flue isn’t blocked by obstructions like an animal’s nest, especially if this is your first time using the fireplace. If the system hasn’t been recently inspected, hire a chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to do the job.

STEP 2: Gather the Kindling
Gather kindling in a variety of sizes (small, medium, and large) for the proper fire-building technique that is outlined below. To emit less smoke and soot, make sure the wood is dry, well-seasoned, and split a minimum of six months ago. You can choose either hardwood or softwood for the fire; while hardwoods like oak or maple burn longer and create more sustained heat, softwoods like cedar or pine start fires easier because they ignite quickly. Whatever you don’t use can return to the firewood rack, best stored outdoors in an elevated and covered location.

Note: Never burn trash, plastic, painted materials, or anything with chemical treatment like scraps of pressure-treated wood—these materials can release harmful chemicals into your home.

STEP 3: Open the Damper
The damper is a movable plate inside the flue. When opened, it allows the smoke and ash to travel safely up the chimney. If you start a fire with a closed damper, however, the smoke will have no escape route and circle back into the house.

Adjust the damper as needed with the handle located inside of the chimney. It will move either front to back, left to right, or in a clockwise or counterclockwise rotation. Check to make sure you opened it properly by sticking your head in the flue and looking upwards, using a flashlight if necessary. You should see up the flue without any obstructions if the damper is open; a closed damper will block your view entirely.

STEP 4: Prime the Flue
Now, gauge the temperature. If you feel a rush of cold air (which usually occurs if the chimney is built on the outside of the house), then you need to prime the flue—in order words, you need to preheat it. Otherwise, the cold draft may cause smoke to blow into the room. Light a roll of newspaper and hold it against the open damper to send warm air into the flue. The draft should reverse after a few minutes, making your fireplace ready for action.

STEP 5: Build the Fire
While there are multiple ways to build a fire, the CSIA recommends the top-down method, which produces less smoke and requires less tending. Start by donning thick fireplace gloves and grabbing a metal poker. Position large pieces of wood in the bottom of the fireplace in one row, perpendicular to the opening of the fireplace. Next, take mid-sized pieces of wood, and stack four or five rows on top of the base layer in alternating directions. Make sure the stack takes up no more than half the height of your fireplace. Now add your smallest pieces of wood, making sure these pieces are very dry. The tiniest bits (which can take the form of wood shavings or bunched-up newspapers) should be at the very top.

Light the top of the stack with a single match. The fire should travel down, igniting the pieces underneath without prompting. Let the fire burn for as long as you’d like. Don’t close the damper until the fire is completely out and all the embers have stopped burning.

STEP 6: Clean the Ashes
The CSIA says you can leave a bed of ashes between one to two inches in the fireplace as an insulating layer, which helps the next fire to burn. But when you need to dispose of ashes, proceed with caution. Coals may take several hours or several days to completely cool, and ash could still be burning during that time. Using a metal shovel, scoop ashes into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Store the container outdoors away from the house, and not in garages or on decks.

https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-use-a-fireplace/

It's the Water You Don't See!

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Thermohygrometer tool used for measuring temperature and relative humidity Thermohygrometer - one of the many tools we use.

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO® of Medford/Everett has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO® of Medford/Everett will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment.

Here are a few of the tools used by SERVPRO® of Medford/Everett:

  • Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
  • Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO® of Medford/Everett to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO® of Medford/Everett can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
  • Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
  • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach.

The bottom line? SERVPRO® of Medford/Everett has the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

The Science of Drying

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Psychometric Chart Psychrometric Charts includes vertical lines that represent the dry bulb temperatures. Air temperature increases from left to right.

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying?  Having the knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition.  While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of Medford/Everett are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved stands to help lower the chances of any secondary damaged.  If your business or home suffers a water damage, SERVPRO of Medford/Everett will:

  • Inspect the building or home 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 profession drying equipment.

What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building or home 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 if the air is drier.  The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building or home is drying out.

SERPVRO of Medford/Everett have the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls and much more.  We also use state of the art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

It’s not only the equipment but the technology too! SERVPRO has developed a DryBook, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry trying requirements are met.  With DryBook Mobile, you have the ability to know exactly where your property is in the drying process.

SERVPRO of Medford/Everett has the professional training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.” has the professional training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.”

Why do my Pipes Make Those Noises?

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

What is that noise?

We all know the noises our home makes. That cracking when it is quiet, the sound of someone walking around in the attic or the quiet drip of the shower even hours after it has been used. Our homes all have a set of familiar noises! However, not all those sounds can be good for your home or your wallet! Especially, the sounds coming from your water pipes may be a warning. While a whistling faucet may simply require a new washer to quiet down, if you have a hissing, whistling sound in multiple fixtures and a hammering noise coming from your pipes, you could be headed for a pipe break! Residential water pressure is usually around 80 psi, but sometimes municipalities have to increase pressure for nearby non-residential facilities. When this happens in the Medford/Everett and surrounding North Shore communities the increased water pressure can damage your home’s plumbing. In addition to the irritation of noisy pipes, high water pressure can:

  • Erode pipes
  • Reduce life expectancy of fixtures
  • Increase water bills
  • Result in leaks
  • Cause a pipe burst

What’s Causing those Noises?

As a large amount of water is forced through fixture openings designed to handle a lower flow, it makes a whistling sound, just like forcing a large amount of air through pursed lips causes a whistling sound. When water suddenly stops flowing through pipes, the momentum causes it to slam around inside the pipe, which causes a clanging or banging sound. Your plumbing has built-in air chambers to prevent this from happening, but when water pressure is higher than normal, the chambers aren’t enough to prevent the hammering sound. The longer you wait to address high water pressure in your home, the more likely it is to cause a pipe break.

What to do About High Pressure

If you suspect your water pressure is too high, call a plumber in Medford/Everett area to test the pressure for you. A device called a pressure regulating valve, or PRV can be installed to control the water pressure inside your home. Hiring a professional to prevent a pipe break is far preferable to hiring one to fix a broken pipe inside your walls. SERVPRO of Medford/Everett wants you to catch an emergency before they occur but if one happens before you can stop it, know that we are ready to help you at a moment’s notice. Our team of highly trained technicians will assess the damages and take the necessary steps to ensure this emergency feels "Like it never even happened."

What Causes Frozen Pipes?

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen faucet encased in ice Don't let this happen to you!

What Causes Frozen Pipes?

The water inside pipes can freeze when outdoor temperatures drop below freezing. As freezing water expands, it causes the pressure inside the pipes to increase, possibly leading to bursting pipes.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

  • Insulate pipes, especially those close to outside walls, attics or crawl spaces where the chance of freezing is greatest
  • Seal air leaks surrounding or near pipes
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage
  • Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off water to exterior faucets and sprinkler systems
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing
  • Keep heat at 55 degrees F. or higher even when you are out of town
  • During a cold spell turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls to allow a small trickle of water to run during the night
  • If you need to be away from home, leave the heat on and drain your water system before you go
  • Identify the locations of shutoff valves so that you are prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible when a pipe bursts

 What to Do When Pipes Freeze or Burst

 If pipes freeze:

  • Open all faucets
  • Remove insulation and wrap pipes in rags
  • If all else fails, call your plumber

If pipes burst:

  • Shut off the water immediately to prevent additional damage
  • Take proper precautions to avoid an electrical shock from being in or near standing water
  • Take an inventory of any damaged property or possessions
  • Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Medford/Everett for help at 781-395-4444.      
  • We’ll make it “Like it never even happened."

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Decorated Christmas tree with flames shooting out and the wording Christmas Tree Safety Tips for a safe and Merry Christmas!

As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly.

Picking the tree

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the tree

  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the tree

  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After Christmas Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/ChristmasTreeSafetyTips.pdf

Tips for a Safe and Fun Halloween!

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Happy Halloween from your friends at SERVPRO of Medford/Everett! Happy Halloween from your friends at SERVPRO of Medford/Everett!

Trick-or-Treaters

  • Be bright at night – wear retro-reflective tape on costumes and treat buckets to improve visibility to motorists and others.
  • Wear disguises that don’t obstruct vision and avoid facemasks. Instead, use nontoxic face paint. Also, watch the length of billowy costumes to help avoid tripping.
  • Ensure any props are flexible and blunt-tipped to avoid injury from tripping or horseplay.
  • Carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries and place it face down in the treat bucket to free up one hand. Never shine it into the eyes of oncoming drivers.
  • Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in streets if possible.
  • If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
  • Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street.
  • Cross streets only at the corner, and never cross between parked vehicles or mid-block.
  • Trick-or-treat in a group if someone older cannot go with you.
  • Tell your parents where you are going.

Parents

  • Ensure an adult or older, responsible youth is available to supervise children under age 12.
  • Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow.
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes.
  • Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never to enter a stranger’s home or garage.
  • Establish a time for children to return home.
  • Tell children not to eat any treats until they get home.
  • Review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
  • Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant and visible with retro-reflective material.

Motorists

  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street.
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. In dark costumes, they’ll be harder to see at night.
  • Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
  • Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
  • Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible – even in the daylight.
  • Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into yards and front porches.

Oh My Gourd ~ World's Best Pumpkin Bread!!

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Oh My Gourd ~ World's Best Pumpkin Bread!! Oh My Gourd ~ World's Best Pumpkin Bread!!

It's that time of year when the weather starts to cool down, the leaves start changing and you can find everything pumpkin that we've missed since last fall.  What better way than to start off with a nice pumpkin bread.

World's Best Pumpkin Bread

Prep time:  5 mins

Cook time:  45 mins

Total time:  50 mins

Serves: 2 loaves

 Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Libby’s Pure Pumpkin
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cup Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • 2/3 Cup Water
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 1/3 Cups Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 5 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Ground Nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Mix Pumpkin, Sugar, Oil, Water, and Eggs in large mixing bowl until well combined.
  1. In medium mixing bowl, combine Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg. Stir well, then gradually pour into large bowl of pumpkin mixture. Stir well to combine completely.
  1. Spray TWO 9×5 Non-stick Loaf Pans with Pam Cooking Spray.
  1. Pour mixture evenly into loaf pans.
  1. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 55 minutes, or until done and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

ENJOY!!