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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Be Prepared: Know These Storm Warning Definitions

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Warnings can pop up anywhere: TV, cell phone warnings, radio, etc., but do we really understand what these warnings mean? Know these definitions so you are prepared for any storm:

  • Tornado Watch Conditions are ripe for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
  • Tornado Warning A tornado has been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado WARNING is issued where you live, GET TO THE MIDDLE OF THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STRONG BUILDING IMMEDIATELY!!! 
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning!!
  • Flash Flood Watch Flash floods are likely to occur in the near future. Be alert for rising water and be prepared to have to move to high ground.
  • Flash Flood Warning Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur in the near future. If this happens, get to high ground immediately, and GET AWAY FROM VEHICLES... it only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car or truck away!
  • High Wind Advisory Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This usually makes for unsafe conditions while driving, especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. Also, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
  • High Wind Warning Very strong winds are expected or already are occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating and other outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.

Pay close attention to storm warnings, take them seriously and be safe. 

If disaster does strike your home or business, call SERVPRO of Medford/Everett 800-394-4466

Hardwood Floor Cupping Vs. Crowning

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hardwood Floor Cupping Vs. Crowning Crowning Floor

When moisture hit hardwood flooring wood expands and becomes susceptible to cupping and crowning – two common wood floor problems that, if not addressed properly and at the right time, can require costly sanding and refinishing to fix.

Cupping is a condition where wood board becomes concave – edges high with a center that dips low. As wet hardwood flooring expands, cupping can occur.  It is brought on when the bottom of the wood flooring remains wetter than the top surface. When cupping occurs, it’s important not to rush quickly into sanding.

Crowning –the opposite of cupping – occurs when the top edges of the board are sanded off too early and become lower than the rest of the board as it returns to normal moisture levels. Sanding the floor to remove crowning should only begin once drying measures are complete and normal moisture levels have been achieved. 

If you have either cupping or crowing floors please give us a call at SERVPRO of Medford/Everett at 800-394-4466.

The water damage restoration process begins with a detailed inspection of your property, including a damage assessment. The SERVPRO Franchise Professional is determining the scope of the damage so he or she can develop an appropriate plan of action.

What are Those Brown Stains on my Ceiling?

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What are Those Brown Stains on my Ceiling? Brown Stains on Ceiling

Sometimes you'll glance up and notice a truly hideous brownish stain on your ceiling that has appeared seemingly out of nowhere. 

A word of caution: If you cover up a water stain without addressing the leak that caused it, you run the risk of additional staining on the ceiling, not to mention more serious structural or electrical damage. That’s why it is so important to find and repair the cause of the water stain as soon as possible, even if it is no longer wet.

Your first priority when dealing with a water stain should be to find the source of the leak that caused it— the roof, the upstairs radiator, and the upstairs bathroom are good places to check.

If you have ceiling staining such at this, please give us a call at SERVPRO of Medford/Everett for a free inspection. 1-800-394-4466

The water damage restoration process begins with a detailed inspection of your property.  A SERVPRO Professional will check for the source of water in your home or business and stop it. The water source must be stopped before the drying process can begin. We will determine the scope of the damage and develop an appropriate plan of action. 

Commercial Fire Restoration

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Fire Restoration Lynnfield DPW Garage Fire

Fire damage is especially devastating for a business or commercial property. In addition to the fire and smoke damage, significant water damage from firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems may occur. Every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If your business experiences a fire loss, call the fire and water damage restoration experts and we’ll respond immediately to get you back to business.

  • 24 Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • A Trusted Leader in the Fire and Water Restoration Industry with over 1,700 Franchises
  • Highly Trained Fire and Water Damage Restoration Specialists

Commercial Fire Damage?

Call Us Today 800-394-4466

Commercial Restoration Presents Unique Challenges

SERVPRO of Medford/Everett has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial fire damage emergencies. Whether your fire emergency occurs in a restaurant, motel, or office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.

SERVPRO of Medford/Everett can respond immediately to your commercial fire damage emergency regardless of the size or scope of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale events and disasters.

Call Us Today 800-394-4466

What Percentage of Businesses May Never Reopen After a Loss?

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that nearly 50% of businesses never reopen after a business interruption?  

When it comes to your commercial property, we mean business. You need a company that can minimize the disruption to your clients while delivering superior results. Whether you need professional cleaning to make your business shine, or emergency water restoration services, SERVPRO of Medford/Everett has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

We understand how critical it is to be prepared and we developed our Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) to help make sure you are “Ready for whatever happens”.  Our ERP is designed to help you quickly and easily access crucial information in the event of an emergency.  From everyday disasters to catastrophic events, the SERVPRO Ready Plan app puts everything you need at your fingertips.  You can easily manage the situation and, with the help of our SERVPRO team, get back on track faster.  Together we can reduce downtime and make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Be Ready!  Our app is a no-cost readiness plan that places your ready plan data on your mobile device for quick access during an emergency.

https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp

Call SERVPRO of Medford/Everett today to schedule your FREE Emergency Ready Plan consultation.  800-394-4466

Commercial Mold Remediation

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Besides causing a major business interruption, a mold problem can present a serious health risk for people exposed at your commercial property. Mold infestations can be caused by minor water intrusions, like a slow roof leak or loose plumbing fitting. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If you suspect your property has a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Medford/Everett, who will respond quickly and work fast to manage the situation.

  • 24 Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • A Trusted Leader in the Mold and Water Restoration Industry with over 1,700 Franchises
  • Highly Trained Mold and Water Damage Restoration Specialists

Have a Mold Problem?

Call Us Today – 800-394-4466

Commercial Mold Remediation Presents Unique Challenges

Mold can spread quickly through a property if left untreated. SERVPRO of Medford/Everett can respond quickly, working to first contain the infestation to help prevent its spread to other parts of the building. Next, we will begin the remediation process, working safely and effectively to manage the situation. We have the training, experience, and equipment to contain the mold infestation and remediate it to preloss condition. Learn more about SERVPRO of Medford/Everett training and certifications.

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technician

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 800-394-4466

What Happens to My Belongings in a Fire?

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage, including smoke and soot, affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Medford/Everett understands your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings make your house more than a structure; they make it home.

If You Have Questions or Need Help, Call Us Today 800-394-4466

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO of Medford/Everett specializes in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your belongings to determine what items we can restore to pre-fire condition. We use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
     

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO of Medford/Everett can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. Move-out will provide several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, we will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage.

Electronic Cleanup

Fire-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by fire. Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces. If the residues are not removed, corrosion causes electronic failure in the device. We will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Document / Photograph Drying

When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water or fire, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the fire damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-fire damage condition, SERVPRO of Malden / Melrose can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage. 

Depending on the type of documents and the level of fire, smoke, or soot damage, they have five options for the restoration of documents:

  • Air Drying
  • Dehumidification
  • Freezer Drying
  • Vacuum Freeze Drying
  • Vacuum Thermal Drying

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. We can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. We take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Preloss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims

Peace of mind when you need it most!

What You Can Do Until SERVPRO Arrives

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Emergency Tips

 After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Water Damage Emergency?

Call 800-394-4466

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Have A Water Damage Emergency?

Call 800-394-4466

Mold Removal vs. Mold Remediation

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

What’s the Difference?

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Many restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy. We understand mold and mold growth. SERVPRO of Medford/Everett has the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business.

Signs of Mold? Call Today

800-394-4466

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

The Mold Remediation Process

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. Learn more about our mold remediation process

  1. Emergency Contact 800-394-4466
  2. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  3. Mold Containment
  4. Air Filtration
  5. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  6. Cleaning Contents and Belongings

Water Damage: Why Choose SERVPRO of Medford / Everett?

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Repair and Restoration

  • Our highly trained technicians are ready to respond immediately to flood or water damage at your Medfordproperty. We have the experience, expertise, and training to restore your home or business quickly and properly. We use advanced inspection and extraction equipment to find the water and remove it as quickly as possible. Our technicians will monitor and document the drying process to ensure your property is back to normal.
  • Please follow our tips outlined in theWater Damage Tips—Until Help Arrives Guideto protect yourself and your property.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Medford / Everett is locally owned and operated—so we are part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 SERVPRO Franchises and specialDisaster Recovery Teamsstrategically located throughout the country to respond to large scale disasters.

We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster

We’re dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

We’re Highly Trained Water Damage Specialists

We are water damage specialists who get started promptly to get your property dry and back to pre-water-damage condition. Using advanced water removal and drying equipment and scientific drying principles to get your property dried quickly, we document the drying process to validate your home or business is ready. Learn about our water damage training and certificates.

We Use Advanced Drying Equipment and Techniques

Our advanced equipment helps to detect hidden moisture, extract the standing water quickly, and thoroughly clean and dry your home and belongings. We finish the job with professional deodorization and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.

The Water Damage Restoration Process

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

When your home or commercial property has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. Our experience and scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup enable us to properly dry and restore your property.

Water or Flood Damage?
Call Today – (781) 395-4444

Every water damage event is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. You can click on any of the steps below to learn more about that process.

Step 1 - Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will guide you through the crisis and may ask several questions to help us better understand the equipment and resources.

Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

We determine the scope of your water damage at this stage. We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration.

Step 3 - Water Removal / Water Extraction

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.

Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification

We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water that is harder to access. Our Professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business.

Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean all of the restorable items and structures damaged by the water. We are adept at cleaning contents using a number of techniques. Our professionals are trained to provide sanitizing treatments and to remove odors and deodorize your property.

Step 6 - Restoration

Restoration is the process of restoring your home or business to its pre-water damage condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet, or may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Sewage Cleanup and Restoration

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination.

Sewage Backup or Toilet Overflow? Call Us Today – (781) 395-4444

There are three major types of contaminated water. SERVPRO of Medford / Everett will inspect that contaminated water to determine the type of water and then plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.

The three types of contaminated water:

Category 1: "Clean Water"

This is water from a clean source, such as a broken clean water supply line or faucet. If left untreated, category 1 water can quickly degrade into category 2 or 3 water depending upon such factors as time, temperature, and contact with contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: "Gray Water"

This water has a significant level of contamination that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Sources for category 2 water may include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: "Black Water"

This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Emergency Service

Sewage backup should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. We are the water damage restoration specialists with specific training and expertise to safely restore your home or business.

Commercial Mold Remediation

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Commercial Mold Remediation Mold in Basement of Commercial Building

Besides causing a major business interruption, a mold problem can present a serious health risk for people exposed at your commercial property. Mold infestations can be caused by minor water intrusions, like a slow roof leak or loose plumbing fitting. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If you suspect your property has a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Medford/Everett, who will respond quickly and work fast to manage the situation.

  • 24 Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • A Trusted Leader in the Mold and Water Restoration Industry with over 1,700 Franchises
  • Highly Trained Mold and Water Damage Restoration Specialists

Have a Mold Problem?

Call Us Today – 800-394-4466

Commercial Mold Remediation Presents Unique Challenges

Mold can spread quickly through a property if left untreated. SERVPRO of Medford / Everett can respond quickly, working to first contain the infestation to help prevent its spread to other parts of the building. Next, we will begin the remediation process, working safely and effectively to manage the situation. We have the training, experience, and equipment to contain the mold infestation and remediate it to preloss condition. Learn more about SERVPRO of Medford / Everett training and certifications.

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technician

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 800-394-4466

Emergency READY Profile - Are Your Ready?

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW. As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your 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 business. Are You Ready?

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?” The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order. The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile Advantage A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. – Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.” 

Call SERVPRO Medford/Everett 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

1-800-394-4466

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events in commercial properties on the North Shore and surrounding areas are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity.  So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Medford/Everett

SERVPRO of Medford/Everett specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SERVPRO of Medford/Everett 800-394-4466 has the training and equipment to help make it    "Like it never even happened."

Some Basic Mold Information

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold or Have Questions Regrading Mold, Please Give Us a Call @ SERVPRO of Medford/Everett 800-394-4466.

If You Suspect Mold in Your Home

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

If Your Suspect Mold in Your Home

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO of Medford/Everett has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.

Have a Mold Problem?
Call Us Today 800-394-4466

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider the following facts:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of West Atlanta / Downtown for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

Mold Remediation Services

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem call, SERVPRO of Medford/Everett.  We have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

800-394-4466

Let Us Help With Your Commercial Cleaning Services

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients.  So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO professionals have the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

You don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, call in SERVPRO of Medford/Everett.  Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on SERVPRO to make your workspace look its very best.  They’ll respond promptly and make your workspace look its very best.

To learn more about our Commercial Cleaning Service call the professionals at SERVPRO of Medford/Everett at 800-394-4466.   We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

NO JOB IS TOO LARGE

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

No Job Is Too Large

Storms occur with little warning and can be especially devastating, so you’ll need the company that you can trust to rise to the occasion. Regardless of the type of storm, SERVPRO of Medford/Everett can handle any size disaster. During catastrophic storms and major events, we call upon our Disaster Recovery Team for immediate assistance.

Catastrophic Storm and Major Event Response

The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you.

With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Recent mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams include:

  • 2017 California wildfires
  • 2017 Hurricane Irma
  • 2017 Hurricane Harvey
  • 2016 Hurricane Matthew
  • 2015 Carolina floods
  • 2014 Polar Vortex
  • 2012 Sandy
  • 2010 Nashville floods
  • 2008 Ike
  • 2007 Chicago floods
  • 2007 Ohio floods
  • 2007 California wildfires
  • 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita

Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO of Medford/Everett is prepared for the unpredictable. 800-394-4466

Reply on the Expertise of SERVPRO to Help After Flooding

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding is a part of the history in Boston and the North Shore areas and you should consider it as a part of your duties as a property owner to plan for these types of situations. Obtaining the proper insurance and budgeting for some of the preventive measures that exist to assist you with preparation for a flood is only the beginning. However, it is far better than merely reacting to a crisis. It is our goal to inform you more about what to do when a water damage emergency hits and help you with getting back to normal, with the least amount of disturbance to your everyday lives. 
 
We have expertly trained technicians who have experience in dealing with flood damage restoration near your home. It is possible that the person who arrives to help you with your situation is someone that you already know within the community that you live, a neighbor, a friend or even a family member. 
 
SERVPRO Franchises are locally owned and operated by people just like you. Our technicians go through rigorous training to learn the proper steps to assist with your recovery as promptly and professionally as possible. However, we can also help you prepare to combat the possibility before it ever occurs, limit the damage caused by flooding and even save more of your belongings in the process. 
 
Our expertly trained technicians at SERVPRO offer you services that are unique to your situation and help you understand what you can expect; even during the worst possible conditions. We will be there to assist you through the entire process, from beginning to end and even provide you with any assistance you need filling out the proper paperwork to deal with your insurance company. 
 
The restoration process at SERVPRO starts with your initial phone call. We will perform an inspection on your property and thoroughly explain what is needed to get you back on your feet. Then we will quickly and efficiently cover the steps of the action plan that we have described to remove any excess water and completely dry everything within the affected area. We can uncover those hard to locate moisture pockets that require specialized equipment to find. All of your household items get handled as if they were our own, and each restorable item is taken care of and returned to a quality pre-damage condition "Like it never even happened."
 
Our SERVPRO of Medford/Everett staff is waiting to assist you.  800-394-4466

Hurricane Season is Here - Are You Prepared?

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Last year’s hurricane season was the most disastrous the United States has ever experienced. Hurricanes in 2017 affected more than 25 million people—close to 8 percent of the U.S. population—and resulted in widespread displacement of survivors. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria caused $265 billion in damage, more than the 2005 hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma combined.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO PREPARE?

With the Atlantic hurricane season beginning in June, individuals and businesses can take proactive steps to better prepare for hurricanes that may threaten our homes, workplaces, and communities. Here are five actions that FEMA recommends everyone take in advance of hurricane season:

  1. Get alerts and warnings to receive timely information about weather conditions or other emergencies. Download the FEMA App to learn what to do before, during, and after emergencies, and receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service.
  2. Create and practice a family communication plan. Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated, and ensure everyone understands their role.
  3. Document and insure property before a disaster strikes to ensure you will have the necessary financial resources to help you repair, rebuild, or replace whatever is damaged. Visit gov to learn about purchasing flood insurance.
  4. Strengthen your financial preparedness. Collect and secure personal financial, insurance, medical, and other records to give yourself the peace of mind and ensure that you have the documentation needed to start the recovery process without delay.
  5. Get trained. Every minute is important in a disaster, and if emergency responders are not nearby, you could be the one to help others until help arrives. Consider participating in a local or regional exercise—or even develop an exercise or simulation for your organization or community to help identify challenges and correct issues before they happen. Visit gov/until-help-arrives for online training and to find out what role you can take during disasters.

If you Had a Burst Pipe Would you Know What to do?

1/25/2018 (Permalink)

Well it’s that time of year in New England when temperatures drop into the teens, and as we’ve experienced this past month, into the single digits with the wind chill below zero.  Water pipes and cold temperatures are not friends!!  A burst pipe can create serious water damage to your home and belongings.

If you had a burst pipe in your home would you know what to do?

Stop the Water Flow

Shut off the main water supply by turning off the main water turnoff.   It is best to ensure that everyone in your family knows where the main water turnoff is located and how to turn it off in case of a burst pipe emergency.  (Consider a “Water Turn Off” tag like the one pictured above)

Let the pipe drain out the water by turning on all cold faucets. Switch off the water heating system and then turn on all hot faucets to help in draining the water supply system. Also, flush all toilets. All leaks should stop once there is no more water running from the taps.

Find the Break

Locating exactly where the pipe burst is should be done immediately to prevent further damage. Once you've found the burst, you'll know what you have to do next. For instance, if it’s a tiny crack, patching it up may fix the problem for a while. Also, consider which pipe has burst. If the damage is in a main water pipe, it needs to be repaired and dealt with carefully regardless of the cause or size of the break.

If there has been leakage in the house for some time, be careful when entering rooms. Pay attention to the ceilings because if they appear to bulge, it means it is holding loads of water and could cave in any moment. If you've noticed the leak right away, place a bucket underneath to catch the drip.

Call SERVPRO

If there is flooding or water damage in the home call SERPVRO of Medford/Everett at 781-395-4444.

My Smoke Alarm Works - Why Would I Change It?

1/25/2018 (Permalink)

We all know to change the batteries in our smoke alarms twice yearly but did you know the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that you replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old?

I know what you’re thinking, “how I am supposed to remember how old they are?”  Check the back of the smoke alarm and you will find the manufacturer date.  

Even if your smoke alarms aren’t ten years old you may also consider replacing them early to keep up with the latest technology.

There are two kinds of smoke alarms:

Ionization smoke alarms are generally more responsive to flaming fires.
How they work: Ionization-type smoke alarms have a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates, which ionizes the air and causes current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber, it disrupts the flow of ions, thus reducing the flow of current and activating the alarm

Photoelectric smoke alarms are generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering (called “smoldering fires”).
How they work: Photoelectric-type alarms aim a light source into a sensing chamber at an angle away from the sensor. Smoke enters the chamber, reflecting light onto the light sensor; triggering the alarm.

 The NFPA recommends smoke alarms that use both of these technologies. 

 Check out the NFPA website for lots of great information on smoke alarms.

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Smoke-alarms

Fire-Safety Tips to Keep in Mind This Thanksgiving

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

The kitchen is where the holiday meal magic happens, but it can also be a danger zone, especially on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is typically the most dangerous day of the year.  Everybody's cooking in the kitchen and it's one of the few days where almost everyone is preparing a meal.  "The house is more congested than normal so you have to control the flow in your kitchen to make sure there's no accidents.

More fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home.  On Thanksgiving, in particular, there are three times as many house fires than any other day of the year, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission

Below are some safety tips for the holiday:

  1. Don't wear loose-fitting clothing around open flames.
  2. Don't leave your food unattended on the stove or in the oven.

Make sure a person is always in the kitchen watching the food that's cooking.

You should have a zone, around anything around the stove, within like a 3-feet range for children.

  1. If deep-frying turkey, do it outside.
  1. Never put water on a grease fire.
  1. Store fire extinguishers in plain sight and near an exit - not under the sink. According to the National Fire Protection Association. Because fires can double every five to 10 seconds - and can consume a room in just one minute - call 911 first.

Halloween Safety Tips

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

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 facedown 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.

Smoke Detector - Ionization vs Photoelectric

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

The two most commonly recognized smoke detection technologies are ionization smoke detection and photoelectric smoke detection.

Ionization smoke alarms are generally more responsive to flaming fires.
How they work: Ionization-type smoke alarms have a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates, which ionizes the air and causes current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber, it disrupts the flow of ions, thus reducing the flow of current and activating the alarm. 

Photoelectric smoke alarms are generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering (called “smoldering fires”).
How they work: Photoelectric-type alarms aim a light source into a sensing chamber at an angle away from the sensor. Smoke enters the chamber, reflecting light onto the light sensor; triggering the alarm. 

For each type of smoke alarm, the advantage it provides may be critical to life safety in some fire situations. Home fatal fires, day or night, include a large number of smoldering fires and a large number of flaming fires. You can not predict the type of fire you may have in your home or when it will occur. Any smoke alarm technology, to be acceptable, must perform acceptably for both types of fires in order to provide early warning of fire at all times of the day or night and whether you are asleep or awake.

For best protection, use both types of smoke alarm technologies

For best protection, it is recommended both (ionization and photoelectric) technologies be used in homes. In addition to individual ionization and photoelectric alarms, combination alarms that include both technologies in a single device are available.

October is Fire Prevention Month

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Home Safety Checklist

Smoke Alarms

? There is one smoke alarm on every level of the home and inside and outside each sleeping area.

? Smoke alarms are tested and cleaned monthly.

? Smoke alarm batteries are changed as needed. 

? Smoke alarms are less than 10 years old.

Cooking Safety

? Cooking area is free from items that can catch fire.

? Kitchen stove hood is clean and vented to the outside.

? Pots are not left unattended on the stove.

Electrical & Appliance Safety

? Electrical cords do not run under rugs.

? Electrical cords are not frayed or cracked.

? Circuit-protected, multi-prong adapters are used for additional outlets.

? Large and small appliances are plugged directly into wall outlets.

? Clothes dryer lint filter and venting system are clean.

Candle Safety

? Candles are in sturdy fire-proof containers that won’t be tipped over.

? All candles are extinguished before going to bed or leaving the room.

? Children and pets are never left unattended with candles.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon monoxide alarms are located on each level of the home.

? Carbon monoxide alarms are less than 7 years old.

Smoking Safety

Family members who smoke only buy fire-safe cigarettes and smoke outside.

? Matches and lighters are secured out of children’s sight.

? Ashtrays are large, deep and kept away from items that can catch fire.

? Ashtrays are emptied into a container that will not burn.

Heating Safety

? Chimney and furnace are cleaned and inspected yearly.

? Furniture and other items that can catch fire are at least 3 feet from fireplaces, wall heaters,   baseboards, and space heaters.

? Fireplace and barbecue ashes are placed outdoors in a covered metal container at least 3 feet from   anything that can catch fire.

? Extension cords are never used with space heaters.

? Heaters are approved by a national testing laboratory and have tip-over shut-off function.

Home Escape Plan

? Have two ways out of each room.

? Know to crawl low to the floor when escaping to avoid toxic smoke.

? Know that once you’re out, stay out. 

? Know where to meet after the escape.

? Meeting place should be near the front of your home, so firefighters know you are out.

? Practice your fire escape plan.

What is Black Mold?

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

What Is Black Mold?

Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called “black mold” or “toxic mold”. Sensational news reports warn about the dangers of black mold and these stories can be alarming and confusing. Any mold in your home should be treated with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.

Please refer to our Mold Damage Tips to learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives. 

How Do I Tell If It’s Black Mold?

Since many types of mold can produce allergens and irritants, you should contact a qualified mold remediation company regardless of the color or type of mold. In many instances, multiple types of mold can exist in the same house or structure. If you suspect that you have a mold problem, contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional immediately.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today

SERVPRO of Medford/Everett  781-395-4444

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce toxins harmful to humans and pets.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today

SERVPRO of Medford/Everett  781-395-4444

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

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

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!!

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS FOR OUR FURRY FRIENDS

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe, so the best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. Here are simple steps you can follow now to make sure you’re ready before the next disaster strikes:

Step 1: Get a Rescue Alert Sticker

This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers (we recommend placing it on or near your front door), and that it includes the types and number of pets in your home as well as the name and number of your veterinarian. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers. To get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home, please fill out our online order form and allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. 

Step 2: Arrange a Safe Haven

Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note that not all shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time:

  • Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities.
  • Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
  • Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.
  • Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.

Step 3: Choose "Designated Caregivers”

This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be someone who is generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own—you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility.

When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet in the event that something should happen to you. When selecting this “foster parent,” consider people who have met your pet and have successful cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet.

Step 4: Prepare Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits

If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. Even if you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:

  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification information. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to also write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier.
  • The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted under the skin in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by a scanner at most animal shelters.
  • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.
  • Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is, and that it clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your “Evac-Pack” include:
    • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include)
    • 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
    • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
    • Litter or paper toweling
    • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
    • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
    • Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
    • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
    • Photocopies and/or USB of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless)
    • At least seven days’ worth of bottled water for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
    • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
    • Flashlight
    • Blanket
    • Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
    • Especially for cats: Pillowcase, toys, scoop-able litter
    • Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner

You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.

Step 5: Keep the ASPCA On-Hand at All Times

Help protect pets by spreading the word about disaster preparedness. Download, print and share FEMA’s brochure today. 

The free ASPCA mobile app shows pet parents exactly what to do in case of a natural disaster. It also allows pet owners to store vital medical records and provides information on making life-saving decisions during natural disasters.

FALL YARD CLEANING TIPS

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

Aaaah, autumn. The kids are headed back to school, the leaves are turning, and a chill is in the air. If you're like most homeowners, fall also means an opportunity to spruce up your yard and cut down on the work you'll need to do when the weather turns warm again.

It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned landscape professional or somebody who just wants their yard to look as good as it can with as little work as possible, everyone can benefit from backyard fall cleanup.  A little bit of work in the fall will really pay off when spring rolls around.

  • Rake those leaves. Once the snow flies, an unraked layer of leaves can get matted down over the turf and smother it all winter long. Raking or using a mulching mower in the fall helps avoid dead patches in the spring. But don't worry about getting every last leaf, especially in the garden. They help insulate plants, and as they decompose, they provide valuable nutrients.
  • Feed the grass. Fertilizing in the fall is like a day at the spa for your lawn. Using a slow-release fertilizer allows the grass to soak up nutrients and - just as important - spend the cool days and nights of autumn recovering from summer heat and stress. And building a healthy, rejuvenated lawn is one of the best ways to protect against heat, cold, drought, insects and other stresses.
  • Weed all about it. Weeding in the fall is probably the most valuable thing you can do to prepare for spring, and it's one that many people overlook. The good news: Pulling weeds used to be a backbreaking chore, but tools like the Weed Hound have come a long way from the tiny weeding forks of "the good old days." There's no reason to get down on your hands and knees and gouge at the turf. All you do is place the tool over the weed, step lightly on the footrest, and pull.
  • Remove thatch build-up. A build-up of aboveground roots called thatch prevents sunlight, oxygen and moisture from getting to the nutrient-hungry soil below. But it's easy to remove, especially if you don't wait until it overwhelms the yard. Just go at the yard with a dethatching rake in early fall, or for an easier - but more expensive - option, rent a power dethatcher.
  • Aerate. Heavy use throughout the summer can cause soil to become compacted. Perforating your lawn with small holes helps reduce compaction and lets water, air and fertilizer get down to the soil, which strengthens the grass plant's root structure. For smaller yards, a manual aerating tool that removes plugs from the turf while you step should be just fine. If you've got a larger yard, consider renting a power aerator.
  • Water trees and shrubs. Dehydration during the colder months is an all-too-common cause of tree damage, but it's easily preventable. To sustain them over the long winter, it's important to give trees a drink before putting them to bed. After they go fully dormant - but before the ground freezes - use a soaker hose or root irrigator to water them thoroughly.
  • Clean out your garden. Fruits and vegetables left in the garden can rot all winter long, and provide a comfy home for insect eggs. Gross? Not as gross as they'll be in the spring. Now's the time to get rid of diseased plants, too, but keep them out of the compost pile so the problem doesn't spread to the rest of your garden next year.
  • Plant spring bulbs. Fall is not all about closing up shop. It's also the perfect time to plant spring flowering bulbs like daffodils and tulips. But pay attention to the weather in your area; planting too early can cause bulbs to sprout before winter, and planting them too late can mean their roots don't have enough time to develop before the ground freezes.
  • Give your tools a tune-up. When it comes time to put away the backyard tools for the season, don't just shove them into the garage or shed. Spend a few minutes wiping them down and removing debris and dirt, then apply a light layer of oil to keep them from rusting over the winter. That way they'll be all set to go again come spring.

Old Man Winter may be on his way, but with a little work now, you can lay the groundwork for a happy, healthy backyard that's ready to thrive next season.

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

5/9/2017 (Permalink)

Give your home a complete physical—inside and out—to ready it for those warm-weather months ahead.

EXTERIOR INSPECTION

Roof. You don’t need to climb up there yourself; with binoculars and a keen eye, you can probably spot trouble. Do you see any shingle-shift, suggesting that some fasteners may have failed and need replacing? Any cracked or missing shingles? What about nail-pops? “We call them eyebrows,” Niles explains. “It’s when nails push the tabs of the shingles up, allowing water to get in where those nails are coming through.” All will need to be addressed to keep your roof at peak performance.

Chimneys. If you have a masonry chimney, check the joints between bricks or stones. Have any fallen out? Is there vegetation growing out of them? Each signals water infiltration. Also, look for efflorescence—”a white calcium-like deposit that indicates your masonry joints are no longer repelling water but absorbing it,” says Niles. Consider re-sealing masonry with a clear, impermeable or water-resistant barrier material (like Thoroseal products). Brush it on, small areas at a time; let it absorb for 15 minutes, then reapply—it may need a couple of applications.

Exterior Walls. Whether you have wood siding, stucco or brick, look for trouble spots, especially under eaves and near gutter downspouts. Water stains normally indicate that your gutters are not adequately containing roof runoff. If you have wood siding, check for openings, damaged areas or knots that have popped out, making way for carpenter ants, woodpeckers and other critters that may nest in or burrow through.

Foundations. When inspecting the exterior of your home, be sure to examine the foundation from top to bottom for masonry cracks. “Routine caulking by homeowners won’t do the job,” says Niles. “Hire a foundation specialist who can employ a two-part epoxy injection system that will bond cracks chemically,” he adds.

Windows. Leakage around windows will admit warm summer air and let cooled indoor air escape, so be sure to check that any caulking and weather stripping you have in place has remained intact. “A tight seal is the first line of defense against air and water,” says Marty Davis, marketing manager, Simonton Windows, Columbus, OH. If you experienced condensation inside the glass on double- or triple-glazed windows during the winter months, the weather seal has been compromised, and either the glass or the window will need to be replaced.

Spring-clean your windows—inside and out—with a store-bought or homemade window cleaner (one cup rubbing alcohol, one cup water and a tablespoon of white wine vinegar will work just fine) and either a squeegee or a soft cloth. Never use abrasive cleaners or a high-pressure spray washer. You don’t want to scratch the glass or crack the caulking around each unit. If screens were on all winter, remove and clean them with mild detergent. Lay them on a dry surface, like a driveway to air-dry before putting them back on. “Never power-wash screens,” urges Davis, “it could damage the mesh.”

INTERIOR MAINTENANCE

General Cleaning. Spring is a good time to clean areas of the house that often go neglected. Dust or vacuum chair rails, window casings, tops of wall-mounted cabinets and ceiling fans. Launder or dry-clean fabric draperies and use a damp cloth to clean wood and vinyl blinds. Vacuum upholstered furniture and mattresses and consider renting a carpet cleaner—anything you can do to remove settled dust, mites, and allergens will make for a cleaner, and healthier, home.

If you detect grease residue in the kitchen, consider washing cabinets, backsplashes and walls with warm water and mild detergent. The same is true in the bathroom, where soap residue and fluctuations in heat and humidity combine to create the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. While you’re cleaning tile, look for areas of worn or missing grout, as these may lead to more serious water damage if not repaired.

Air Conditioning. Just as you readied your furnace for fall, now is the time to make sure that air conditioning units are in good working order for the warmer months ahead. Change the filter, check hose connections for leaks, and make sure the drain pans are draining freely. In addition, vacuum any dust that has settled on the unit and connections; over time it can impact the air conditioner’s effectiveness. If you suspected problems with the efficiency or performance of the unit last summer, now is the time to call in a professional to check it out.

Attics. Search for signs that indicate insects and critters have colonized. Also, search aggressively for mold, which often takes the form of “gray or black blotches that look like staining,” according to Tim Gentry, vice president of technical services, DaVinci Roofscapes, Kansas City, KS. Proper insulation and good ventilation will deter mold growth in the attic, so take action now to prevent the problem from developing in the warmer months ahead.

Basements. The basement—prone to dampness and insects—must be part of any thorough seasonal maintenance effort. Dampness suggests higher than normal relative humidity, inadequate ventilation and the need for a dehumidifier. Check the base of poured-concrete walls. “Cracks start from the bottom up, not the top down,” Niles points out. “If there’s water penetration, it’ll show at the bottom of those cracks.” And be sure to use a flashlight to examine exposed framing. “If you see even a quarter-inch or so of tunneling on the wood,” says Niles, “call a pest control company immediately.”

Leaks. Spring is a good time to check for leaky faucets, clogged drains and sweaty pipes. Check under the kitchen and bathroom sink to make sure connections on pipes and hoses are properly sealed, and look for any wetness around the dishwasher that could signal an existing or potential problem. The same is true of your laundry room; check washer machine hoses for cracks, bulges or dampness. The same is true for hot water heaters, which may show sign of corrosion and leaks.

OUTDOORS

Lawns. Rake the lawn to remove any branches, debris and leaves that you might have missed in the fall; if left, they can suffocate the grass beneath. During the winter, soil compaction, along with chemical changes altering your soil’s PH, may have left your lawn vulnerable to weed growth and other issues. Even if you can’t see weeds, they are more than likely waiting for optimum conditions to propagate. If you want to prevent them from germinating, consider an organic herbicide; fertilizers are better suited to the fall.

Make sure outdoor water systems—pipes, faucets, and in-ground sprinkler systems—are in working order. Once the ground thaws completely, start preparing new garden beds for summer plants. And take stock of your garden tools and lawn-maintenance equipment, including lawn mowers, trimmers and hoses.

Decks and Patios. Look for warped, loose or splintered boards, and do a good sweep to remove any leaves and debris accumulated in the space between boards. “Whether it’s wood, plastic or composite, a deck should be cleaned every year to extend its life,” says Chuck Harris, owner, Custom Lumber Manufacturing Co., Dothan, AL. If the finish on your wood deck is faded or worn, now is the time to clean, stain, and reseal it. If you have composite decking, follow manufacturers’ recommendations on seasonal care. The same is true for wood and composite fences, pergolas, trellises and other structures. If you have a stone patio, a simple hose down provide be all the maintenance required (unless you detect moss or staining, in which case a more serious cleaning may be necessary).

Outdoor Furniture. If you stored your lawn furniture for the winter, bring it outdoors and give it a hose rinse, or wash it with a mild detergent. For metal furniture, check for signs of rust or paint erosion; a simple remedy of spray enamel will prevent further damage from sun, rain and humidity in the months ahead.

Grills. If your gas grill has remained idle over the winter months, check burner jets for clogs and obstructions, and be sure that gas hoses and connections are sound and secure. You’ll also want to check for propane. For charcoal grill owners, make certain your grill is clean of ash and free of grease residue. It’s a good habit to adopt throughout the grilling season, not just in the spring.

Hurricane Preparedness Week – May 7-13, 2017

5/9/2017 (Permalink)

Sunday, May 7th

Determine Your Risk

Find out today what types of wind and water hazards could happen where you live, and then start preparing now for how to handle them. Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. Their impacts can be felt hundreds of miles inland. It’s easy to forget what a hurricane is capable of doing. The U.S. has not been directly impacted by a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) in more than a decade. However, hurricanes such as Ike, Sandy and Isaac reminded us that significant impacts can occur without it being a major hurricane. Many people are suffering from hurricane amnesia in the forms of complacency, denial and inexperience. This remarkable hurricane streak is going to end, and we have to be ready for it to happen this season.

Monday, May 8th

Develop an Evacuation Plan

The first thing you need to do is find out if you live in a storm surge hurricane evacuation zone or if you’re in a home that would be unsafe during a hurricane. If you are, figure out where you’d go and how you’d get there if told to evacuate. You do not need to travel hundreds of miles. Identify someone, perhaps a friend or relative who doesn’t live in a zone or unsafe home, and work it out with them to use their home as your evacuation destination. Be sure to account for your pets, as most local shelters do not permit them. Put the plan in writing for you and those you care about.

Tuesday, May 9th

Assemble Disaster Supplies

You’re going to need supplies not just to get through the storm but for the potentially lengthy and unpleasant aftermath. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of one week. Electricity and water could be out for at least that long. You’ll need extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. Many of us have cell phones, and they all run on batteries. You’re going to need a portable, crank or solar powered USB charger.

Wednesday, May 10th

Secure an Insurance Check-up

Call your insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance check-up to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home. Don’t forget coverage for your car or boat. Remember, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy for it, and it’s available through your company, agent or the National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov. Act now as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.

Thursday, May 11th

Strengthen Your Home

If you plan to ride out the storm in your home, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Many of these retrofits do not cost much or take as long to do as you may think. Have the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand the winds.

Friday, May 12th

Check on Your Neighbor

Many Americans rely on their neighbors after a disaster, but there are also many ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches. Learn about all the different actions you and your neighbors can take to prepare and recover from the hazards associated with hurricanes. Start the conversation now with these Neighbor Helping Neighbor strategies

Saturday, May 13th

Complete Your Written Hurricane Plan

The time to prepare for a hurricane is before the season begins, when you have the time and are not under pressure. If you wait until a hurricane is on your doorstep, the odds are that you will be under duress and will make the wrong decisions. Take the time now to write down your hurricane plan. Know where you will ride out the storm and get your supplies now. You don’t want to be standing in long lines when a hurricane warning is issued. Those supplies that you need will probably be sold out by the time you reach the front of the line. Being prepared, before a hurricane threatens, makes you resilient to the hurricane impacts of wind and water. It will mean the difference between your being a hurricane victim and a hurricane survivor.

 

 

 

What Causes Frozen Pipes?

1/16/2017 (Permalink)

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

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

11/17/2016 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving is almost here and across the country, Americans are gearing up for one of the most spectacular feasts of the year.  Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings family and friends together to share good food, conversation, and laughter. In the midst of all this festive activity, it’s important to remember that there are health hazards associated with the holiday, including an increased chance of food poisoning, kitchen fires, and travel incidents.

Taking just a few minutes to read these Thanksgiving safety tips could mean the difference between enjoying the holiday and having a turkey dinner end in disaster.

Fire Safety

The average number of cooking fires on Thanksgiving is TRIPLE that of a normal day. Here a few simple ways to avoid fires:

  • Stand by your pan” when cooking. Never leave food, grease, or oils cooking on the stovetop unattended.
  • Pot holders, oven mitts, food wrappers, and other things that can catch fire should be kept away from the stove.
  • Children should also be kept away from hot stoves and paid particular attention to when they are in the kitchen.
  • Facing pot handles towards the rear of the stove can save them from being knocked over and scalding people nearby.
  • Long sleeves and loose clothing should be avoided while cooking as it can easily catch fire.Following these food safety tips can keep any Thanksgiving meal safe from bacteria and keep your family and friends from getting sick:

Food Poisoning

  • Safely cooking a turkey starts with correctly defrosting it; place your bird on a tray or pan to catch any juices and keep it refrigerated until it’s ready to cook.
  • A 20-pound frozen turkey can take up to five days to thaw out so plan ahead.
  • Turkeys need to be cooked to an internal temperate of 165 °F.
  • Leftovers need to be refrigerated within two hours after serving.The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and with all the excitement travelers can become more focused on celebrations than getting to their destination as safely as possible. Following these travel tips will keep everyone safe on the road and in the air:

Thanksgiving Travel Safety

Halloween Safety Tips

10/18/2016 (Permalink)

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 facedown 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.

Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years!

9/27/2016 (Permalink)

You replace your cell phone, your lightbulbs – even your toothbrush. But when was the last time you replaced – or thought about replacing – your home's smoke alarms?

While smoke alarm lifespan and sensing technology has vastly improved in recent years, the fact remains that all smoke alarms expire after 10 years. However, nearly a quarter of Americans (23 percent) have either never replaced their smoke alarms – or have not done so in more than six years. This, coupled with the fact that three out of five home fire deaths occur in properties without working smoke alarms – often due to missing alarm batteries or expired alarms – is cause for concern for local fire and safety officials.

"Many people assume that because they have smoke alarms in their homes, they're automatically protected in the event of a fire," said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. "In reality, smoke alarms need to be installed, maintained and tested regularly to ensure that they're working properly. Part of that effort includes knowing how old your smoke alarms are, because smoke alarms don't last forever."

NFPA 72, National Signaling and Fire Alarm Code®, requires that residential smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes may have smoke alarms well past their expiration dates. To find out whether it's time to replace the smoke alarms in your home, simply look on the back of the alarms where the date of manufacture is marked. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase or installation).

 If alarms are due for replacement, consider upgrading your level of protection with devices containing 10-year sealed batteries, which offer tamper-proof, hassle-free protection while eliminating the need to replace batteries for the life of the alarms. For ultimate home safety, select combination smoke/carbon monoxide (CO) alarm models for complete protection from the threats of smoke and CO. A variety of smoke alarms, including hardwired, combination and 10-year battery-powered models, are available to meet specific needs and local

National Preparedness Month: Week Four – Get Involved

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month

Week Four – Get Involved

Build a more resilient community by getting involved and helping your community prepare for, respond to, and recover from the next disaster. There are many great opportunities to make important contributions including volunteering, donating or helping our neighbors and community.

Volunteer

Donate

  • Donate cash to a recognized disaster relief organization.
  • Donate goods that are specifically requested or needed by recognized organizations.
  • Learn more about how to donate responsibly: Donations and Volunteers

Help your Neighbors

  • Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions and those who may need additional assistance.
  • Start a community preparedness project with the Corporation for National & Community Service toolkit.

National Preparedness Month: Week Three – Build an Emergency

9/22/2016 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month

Week Three – Build an Emergency Kit

Build an Emergency Kit:

Having an emergency supply kit is an essential component of personal and family preparedness Emergency kits should include essentials items that will help sustain you and your family for up to three days in the event you are isolated in your home without power during disaster.

First, think about essential items you will need for basic survival: water, food, warmth, clean air, and necessary medications, or medical equipment. Additionally, utilities and basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days or weeks. Your supply kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. Make sure your emergency kit is customized to meet the unique needs of your family.

At a minimum your kit should include:

  • Water: Bottled water (one gallon per person/per day for at least three days), water purification tablets
  • Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods that do not need cooking (ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, or juices, protein or granola bars, cereal, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, baby food, comfort foods)
  • Tools and Supplies: Manual can opener, Radio (battery-powered or hand crank), flashlight or lantern, extra batteries, cell phone with charger, wrench, pliers, and other basic tools
  • Personal Items: Prescription medications (two-week supply), personal hygiene items, eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures, extra batteries or supplies for medical equipment, change of clothes, sturdy shoes
  • Pets: Collar, leash, harness, crate, food, bowls, current photo, license and medical information
  • Documents: Insurance policies, bank account records, identification cards (IDs), medical information, and other copies of important documents
  • Money: Extra cash and traveler’s checks (ATMs may not work during a power outage)
  • Other Items:  First-aid kit, emergency whistle, waterproof matches/lighter, local area maps, diapers, wipes, formula, and baby food and supplies (if needed)

Also consider adding:

  • A watch or clock
  • Household chlorine bleach, which can serve as an emergency disinfectant of drinking water
  • Camp stove or grill with fuel or canned heat, neither of which should be used indoors
  • Disposable plates, cups, and utensils
  • Duct tape, plastic sheeting or tarp
  • Seasonal items to protect against the elements
  • Books, games, puzzles, and other comfort items
  • Sleeping bags or blankets. 

National Preparedness Month: Week Two - Make A Plan

9/19/2016 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month

Week Two – Make A Plan

When an emergency or disaster occurs, will you be ready? It is critical that you create a family disaster plan to keep you and your family safe, protect your property, and build your community’s resilience.

Develop a plan with the members of your household to prepare for what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate in an emergency. Be sure your plan addresses the special and/or medical needs for you and your family.

You should:

Establish Meeting Locations

Select two family meeting locations where your family can reunite after a disaster. 

    • Choose one close to home 
    • Second farther away, in case you are asked to evacuate or can’t return to the area.

Develop an Emergency Contact Plan

Ask an out-of-state friend or relative to serve as your family’s emergency contact. After a disaster, it is sometimes easier to call long distance to unaffected areas.

    • Provide every family member with the name, address, and phone number of the emergency contact and make sure each family member has a cellphone or a prepaid phone card.
    • Inform your emergency contact of any family member’s special needs or medical issues.

List emergency contacts in cellphones as “ICE” (in case of emergency), which will make it easier for emergency management personnel to contact the right person in case of an emergency responder needs to make a call on your behalf.

Identify alternate communications methods:

    • Show all family members how to text message, as it may be easier to send a text than make a call during an emergency.
    • Learn how to use social media, which can be an effective tool to let friends and family know your location and status.
    • You can use the American Red Cross's Safe and Well service to register yourself as “safe and well” or search for loved ones after a disaster.

Plan How to Evacuate

Identify and practice how you will exit your home.

Establish possible evacuation routes to ensure you are able to get to your designated meeting location(s).

Identify available modes of transportation.

Make arrangements with family, neighbors, friends, or local government if you don’t have personal transportation.

If you need assistance, contact your local public safety official to make them aware of your needs.

Plan How to Shelter in Place

Designate safe room(s) within your home. They should have:

    • as few windows or doors as possible; and
    • access to television, radio, and telephones.

Make sure you have necessary supplies and can access your emergency kit.

If you receive medical treatments or home health care services, work with your medical provider to determine how to maintain care and service if you are unable to leave your home for a period of time.

Consider Everyone’s Needs

Plan for everyone in your household, including individuals with access and functional needs, seniors, children, and pets. 

If you or someone close to you has a disability or other access or functional need, you may need to take additional steps to prepare yourself and your family.

September is National Preparedness Month

9/15/2016 (Permalink)

The month of September is National Preparedness Month, a nationwide, month-long effort hosted by FEMA, the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, encouraging households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies. 

Massachusetts experiences a wide range of emergencies and disasters. In the past few years alone, the state has seen flooding, hurricanes and tropical storms, blizzards and winter storms, tornadoes, hazardous materials incidents, power outages, terrorism, water supply disruptions and more. In addition, there are many other hazards that could occur including earthquakes, pandemics and other public health emergencies, nuclear power plant accidents and others. It is important for residents of Massachusetts to be Ready for various types of emergencies and disasters including knowing what the risks are, and what to do before, during, and after various types of emergencies and how to be prepared ahead of time.

There are four key things to be prepared for emergencies:

Be Informed – Know what emergencies may occur and stay informed

Make A Plan – Plan for your family before an emergency

Build a Kit – Assemble an emergency kit

Get Involved – Volunteer opportunities in emergency preparedness and response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today we will talk about various ways to “Be Informed”

Massachusetts Alerts Smartphone App

The free Massachusetts Alerts app provides emergency notifications and public safety information based on your location, proximity to an event or incident, and the preferences you select.

Emergency Alert System (EAS)

Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national warning system that uses radio, television, and satellite channels broadcast important public safety information during times of emergency. When an EAS is issued, you will hear a tone followed by an audio message. Participating television broadcasters will also display a visual message, which might take the form of a scrolling banner or a static slide.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) program is part of the EAS national alerting initiative, which enables cellphones to receive alerts for severe weather emergencies, imminent threats to life or property, AMBER alerts, and Presidential alerts. You do not need to subscribe to any service to receive alerts. The alerts are sent to all WEA-enabled devices in the impacted region. To find out whether you have a WEA-enabled phone, you should contact your mobile carrier.

NOAA Weather Radio

A NOAA weather radio provides alerts for weather warnings in your area. With batteries, a radio can work even when the power is out and can be programmed to provide alerts within your local area. Weather radios are a reliable source for severe weather announcements or weather-related emergency information. 

Social Media & Traditional Media

MEMA uses Twitter (@MassEMA) and Facebook to provide preparedness tips as well as information about severe weather, emergency situations, and disasters. MEMA also uses social media as a secondary method of alerting.

Traditional local media outlets (such as TV and radio stations) are another source for emergency alerts and information.

Mold in Basement

8/9/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold in Basement Mold in Basement

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 

SERVPRO of Medford/Everett

781-395-4444

Fire Damage in Medford, MA

8/9/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage in Medford, MA Living Room Candle Fire in Medford, MA

Title: SERVPRO of Medford/Everett  Smoke and Soot Cleanup

Category: Fire Damage

Photo Caption: Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Home.

Body:

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Medford/Everett will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • 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. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
781-395-4444

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