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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Why Timing is Critical After a Fire Loss

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

In the event of a fire it is critical to begin cleanup quickly

Startled by the sound of a fire alarm going off, you’re suddenly awake in the middle of the night. You rush out of bed and get yourself and your family out of the house. Once you and your family are safe, you call the fire department to come and calm the flames. After the smoke clears and the fire department leaves, you see your belongings covered in soot and water. It can be overwhelming seeing the damages that fire has caused to your home and belongings but timing is essential in fire damage restoration and you need to act fast to mitigate your home. 

So, take a deep breath, and follow the steps below to get your home on track to recovery. 

1. Companies You Want to Contact

Fire Restoration Service

The longer you let your home sit in soot and water damage, the further the damage. This is why it is crucial to start the fire restoration process right away. After speaking to a reputable fire restoration company like SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead, they will be able to develop a custom action plan to restore your home.  An expert will be dispatched  to your home to review the damage, get a clean up plan in place and save as much of your belongings as possible. 

Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company and alert them of the situation at hand.  They will be able to shed a little light on this dark situation by informing you of the next steps you need to take. With their guidance, you will be able to navigate the first initial steps of your fire damage claims. In addition, they will be able to inform you of the best practices you should take such as making a list and taking pictures of damaged items for documentation. 

Utility and Lending Companies 

Paying your bills and living expenses in addition to paying to having your home and belonging restored can be financially exhausting. Utility and lending companies realize this and they know the hardship a family can face in the event of disaster such as a house fire. Contact them, explain your situation, and see if they offer any hardship programs that would lower your payments or stop them completely until you get back on your feet.

Physician 

Do you or a family member rely on daily medication to stay healthy? Depending on the extent of the fire damage or the origin of it, retrieving medication may not be possible. Contact your family physician and request to have your medication filled at your nearest pharmacy. 

Child’s School

If you have a child in school you may want to contact the school and alert them of the situation at hand. If the fire damage deems your home unlivable you may need to stay with a family member and their home can be too far from the school. Teachers and principles are understanding of the difficulties a child and family faces in the event of a disaster and may allow them to do class work at home.

2. Disaster Relief 

Disasters can devastate a family and can be especially hard if staying with family member is not an option. If this is the case, look for local disaster relief programs in your area.  These agencies may be able to give you shelter, food, medication, and water until you can go back into your home. 

3. Replace Important Documents 

In the event of a life threatening fire, you’re probably not going to think about grabbing the safe in your house that contain important documents. Most important documents can be replaced. Here are just a few of the documents that you need to get replaced right away.

  • Passport 
  • Driver’s license
  • Birth, marriage, and death certificates
  • Damaged money (you can exchange it for undamaged cash with the treasury department) 
  • Social security card
  • Bank documents
  • School records
  • Tax records
  • Vehicle registration

4. Start Fire Clean Up 

If the fire department gave you permission to enter your home after they leave then you can start the cleaning process while you wait for the restoration company to arrive. The sooner you get the jump on this, the more likely you’ll be able to save your belongings and home. Here are some steps you can take to help begin the restoration process:

Ventilation 

First and foremost you have to get the polluted air out. Open all your windows and turn on any box/floor fans that you have to circulate the air out your home. If the fire department has advised against the use of electronics for safety reasons do not use fans that use your homes electricity such as box fans. 

Cleaning

Circulating air out your home does not take care of soot alone. After a fire, a smoky smell will linger in your air until soot is completely removed. Try to remove as much soot from your home as possible by sweeping. The longer your belonging are covered in soot, the more it will continue to deteriorate. 

Start Fire Damage Restoration Right Away 

When your home has gone through a fire, time is of the essence to save, recover and restore your belongings from fire damage. Following these steps are essential to begin the fire damages restoration process in turning your house into a home again. 

Have you called a fire restoration service yet? Contact SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead to schedule an appointment at 978.744.4545.

Why to Board Up After a Fire Loss

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Protect your property and belongings after a fire by boarding up your structure

If your commercial property in Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, Swampscott or Middleton MA has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of a building with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. 

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

1. There is still viable stock on the premises. If products that appear viable remain in the building, you should consider boarding up. These items may require assessment and cleaning and may not be fit for sale, but having them properly processed rather than stolen can be helpful for insurance purposes.

2. You want to protect electronics and other valuables. Depending on the extent of the fire damage, you may be able to restore some electronics or other valuable property to working condition. Loss can be far more expensive than restoration or covered replacement.

3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Talk to restoration experts at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead, about whether boarding up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful. Don’t hesitate to call us (978) 744-4545.

Smoke Detector Facts

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Check your smoke alarm regularly to ensure proper function

Smoke detectors are a vital first line of defense for you and your family. But, these devices need to be both installed and maintained correctly in order to provide you with adequate protection. In one quarter of the U.S. home fires in which smoke detectors failed, dead batteries were the cause, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

By properly selecting, positioning and maintaining the smoke alarms in your house, you can have peace of mind that you’re taking an important step to help protect your family in case of a fire.

Features of Smoke Detectors

While different smoke detectors may look similar, there are important features that vary among models. First, how is it powered? Some alarms are powered by a battery, whereas others are hardwired into your house’s electrical system (and are typically equipped with a backup battery), the U.S. Fire Administration says.

All of the smoke alarms throughout your house should be interconnected through hard-wiring or a wireless signal, suggests Richard Roux, senior electrical specialist with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). “That means when one alarm sounds, they all do,” Roux says. New homes are required to include hardwired, interconnected smoke alarms with backup batteries, the American Red Cross says. If you don’t already have the wiring in your home, you can buy devices that interconnect wirelessly, but you may need to buy models from the same brand in order to ensure they can communicate, Consumer Reports says.

Remember, some models include a built-in carbon monoxide (CO) detector, which alerts you to dangerous levels of this deadly gas, Consumer Reports says. If your smoke alarm isn’t a dual model with a CO detector built in, you’ll want to also purchase a CO alarm and install it in your home. CO alarms should be installed outside all sleeping areas and on every level of the home, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.

Also, what type of sensor does the smoke alarm use: ionization or photoelectric? While one type is better at detecting flaming fires, the other is better at detecting smoldering fires. “If a fire smolders with no flame, then a photoelectric sensor will detect it first,” Roux says. “If it is a hot, flaming fire, then an ionization sensor will likely sound first.” Many smoke alarm models are now dual-sensor, meaning they use both technologies. If you don’t have dual-sensor alarms, the NFPA recommends installing both ionization and photoelectric alarms in your home.

Should a fire disaster strike your home or business give SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead a call at 978.744.4545.

Regular Fire Extinguisher Inspection

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers should be checked regularly

We at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead want to keep you safe and one important aspect of that is ensuring the operating condition of your fire extinguisher.

Home fire extinguishers should be checked regularly to help make sure they are ready for use, says the USFA. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends reading the instructions that came with each extinguisher so that you are familiar with their parts and how they work.

The USFA suggests including the following steps in your inspection:

1. Ensure Easy Access

Make sure the extinguisher is visible and easy to retrieve.

2. Check the Pressure

Many fire extinguishers have a pressure gauge that indicates whether the device is in the proper operating range. If yours has one, check to make sure that the gauge’s needle indicates proper pressure. If the fire extinguisher has a test indicator, press it to make sure the pressure reading is within the correct range.

3. Look for Physical Damage

Check that the can, hoses and nozzles look to be in working in order. Visible signs of damage, such as dents or rust, may mean it’s time to replace the extinguisher.

Documenting your checks on the extinguisher’s inspection tag may help you keep track of its maintenance history.

4. Clean the Extinguisher

Check the outside of each extinguisher for dust, oil or grease, and clean it as necessary.

Also, keep in mind that most fire extinguishers are good for 5 to 15 years, according to BobVila.com. Check the extinguisher’s label or a paper tag for the expiration or last maintenance date. If it’s 10 or more years ago, you may want to get a new fire extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers are often an overlooked part of a home safety plan. Do your checks, know how to use them (the NFPA states that your local fire department may be able to provide additional resources) and be sure your extinguishers are ready for use — just in case.

Should a fire disaster strike call the professionals at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545

Water Damage to Home in Marblehead

4/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water damaged home in Marblehead MA

This family’s Marblehead residence experienced serious water damage after multiple pipe bursts. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead has the expertise and equipment to mitigate residential water losses just like this one. In this particular situation, we dried the entire structure, removed most of the drywall and remediated extensive mold. The family was very grateful to be able to use the space again!

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed. 

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions: 

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Faster to Any Size Emergency

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. 

For help restoring your home after a water loss, call SERVPRO of Salem/ Peabody/ Marblehead at 978.744.4545. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Water Damage to Home in Peabody

4/20/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded basement in Peabody MA

This family’s Peabody residence experienced serious water damage after flooding from heavy rains. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead has the expertise and equipment to mitigate residential water losses just like this one. In this particular situation, we extracted the water and used our air movers and dehumidifiers to effectively dry the structure and contents. The family was very grateful to be able to use the space again within a matter of days!

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed. 

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions: 

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Faster to Any Size Emergency

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of Salem/ Peabody/ Marblehead arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. 

For help restoring your home after a water loss, call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Water Damage to Commercial Building in Swampscott MA

4/20/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage in Swampscott MA

A broken water heater created several inches of standing water in this Swampscott MA business. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead worked around the clock to restore the affected area and prevent any secondary damage from occurring. We know that commercial water damage can cost a business thousands of dollars in productivity; it is always our goal to help keep your business running as flawlessly as possible through the restoration process. 

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed. 

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions: 

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)? 

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

For help restoring your commercial space after a water loss, call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

IICRC Certified Business

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

We are IICRC professionals

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.

Different Types of Storm Damage

3/17/2019 (Permalink)

Storms can impact your home in different ways

Wind Damage Restoration

Hurricane damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof, to harsh winds and rains shearing away asphalt tiles. Roof repair of obvious defects usually ensues in the wake of hurricane damage and storm remediation. Correcting roof damage may challenge homeowners after a disaster, since a roof leak may not appear obvious.

How can a roof leak and roof damage escape easy detection in this situation? Wind damage may loosen flashing, eventually causing another roof leak weeks after the storm. Even a subtle roof leak of this nature can produce damp, moldy conditions inside the home. Obtaining fast roof repair may prevent long term interior damage. A wind damage home restoration expert may assist clients in receiving comprehensive roof assessments and roof repair services when hurricane damage afflicts an area. Their expertise helps property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively.

Flooding And Recovery

Flood water frequently poses a risk in coastal areas. Yet heavy rains may cause river flooding miles inland also. If the surrounding terrain cannot absorb ground water, runoff contributes to flood water. Even residents of mountainous areas sometimes sustain varying degrees of flood damage if frozen pipes rupture. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated ground water in some locations, too.

Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems. Experts need to assess ground water and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Hiring a storm restoration firm may allow you to begin your cleanup process even before water restoration occurs. (Cleaning before water restoration often proves essential yet challenging.) By relying upon a trained specialist, you'll usually obtain faster storm remediation. These experts may suggest ways to help mitigate flood water damage in the future, for instance, by requesting backup flood pump installation.

The storm experts at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead are here to help 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!  Call us at 978.744.4545

Steps to Take Immediately After Storm Damage

3/17/2019 (Permalink)

When storm damage occurs, let SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead help

Take Safety Precautions

Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.

Photograph the Damage

If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjustor to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.

Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance

The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans.

When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, and your life, to normal. At SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead, we provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in the stabilization and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm, fire damage, and smoke disaster.

Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545

Preparing for a Winter Storm

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

Be prepared for winter storms in Essex County!

Now that it is winter in Massachusetts, we must remember how to prepare for a winter storm. All winter long we get warnings of impending snow. Whether we enjoy the winter season or not, we must be ready at any time for a large amount of snow fall, ice storms, or well below freezing weather.  At SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead we are ready 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!

As for any type of impending storm it is suggested to have enough food and water for everyone who lives in the home to last at least three days. The recommended amount of water per person is 3 gallons. The food should be food that doesn’t need to be cooked or refrigerated. It is also suggested that you have a radio that runs on batteries so you can get updates on what is happening even if the power goes out. Additionally, extra batteries, flashlights and candles should be on hand. If you have a fire place, ensure that the chimney has been cleaned and inspected and that you have wood available. A fireplace, kerosene heaters can be used as alternative heat sources.

There are specific things that can be done right before a winter storm hits. You should fill your gas tank to ensure you have enough gas should you get stuck while traveling. Put blankets and additional winter gear in your car. If possible, you should avoid driving during a winter storm. This will lessen the traffic on the roads and the chance of getting stuck or in an accident.

Check your shovels and snow rakes and put them somewhere that is easily assessable. It is important to keep a shoveled path into your home. Should an emergency arise where emergency responders need to come to the home, it’s important for them to have easy access. Spraying your shovel with WD-40 will stop the snow from sticking to your shovel.

 Make sure your cell phones and other electronics are charged and ready for use.

During the storm, should temperatures dip below freezing you should turn all faucets in your home on so they are slowly dripping. This will help keep pipes from freezing, which could save you in the long run from having to clean up water damage. Leaving the cabinet doors open will help your pipes stay warmer. Wrapping towels or newspaper around your pipes to help insulate them should you lose the ability to heat your home.

Should you suffer any damage during a winter storm please call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545.  We are here to help!

Fire Damage Restoration Tips

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Call the experts at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead for your fire loss

We’re not going to kid you. Fire damage restoration is tough work. People call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead frequently to ask for advice on how to clean up after a fire.  Here are seven of the best tips we give people who ask about fire damage restoration.

Most people can put these tips into practice. But remember that fire damage restoration takes time, work, and skill. Realistically consider whether you want to try these ideas on your own or whether you’d be better off hiring highly trained restoration specialists who will guarantee their work.

  1. Remove Smoke Damage

With any fire you’ll have a degree of smoke damage to your walls, wall paper, and paint. If the smoke damage is not too serious, you should be able to scrub it clean with detergents and bleach. Soot from smoke damage is greasy stuff, so always try to dust as much of it off from a surface before trying to scrub the surface clean. Often, you’ll want to repaint, but make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before you paint.

  1. Limit Activity & Other Simple Fire Damage Restoration Steps

Until your house is restored, limit your activity and movement in the house. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep people’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Protect your things by placing clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas. Before you clean know the best cleaning method for that particular cleaning job (one example: Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.) Wash both sides of the leaves on your houseplants. Change your HVAC filter and tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead for Cleanup and Restoration. Call (978) 744-4545.

  1. Get Rid of Mold & Mildew

Firefighters are great. They save many a live and many a home. But they do introduce mold and mildew into houses when they must use water to extinguish the fire. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead highly recommends you hire fire damage restoration professionals to deal with mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems. It’s difficult for a nonprofessional to know for certain if he’s clean up all the areas affected by the mold and mildew. And mold and mildew can contaminate your furniture, carpets, clothing, mattresses, walls, and vents. The best thing you can do immediately is to air out every room and clean out all vents and filters.

  1. Replace Carpets. Clean And Dry Your Floors

Your floors and carpets end up absorbing the worst of the damage from all the water used to put out a fire. In almost every case, SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead recommends that you pull up any carpets that have water damage and replace them. Water can also seep underneath vinyl flooring and into the cracks in hardwood. You must address this. If you have experience with flooring, you can lift it up and clean under it. But you may want to call a professional fire damage restoration company to assist you.

  1. Avoid Smearing Soot Into Clothing

Cleaning smoke damage from clothing is one of the biggest jobs you’ll have after a fire. Make sure you don’t smear the greasy soot into the clothing or just throw the smoky clothes into the wash. Often times dry cleaning is the best bet, and you should ask around local dry cleaners to see if any have experience with post-fire laundry. Removing smoke odor is another issue and we’ve covered it in another blog post.

Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead for Cleanup and Restoration. Call (978) 744-4545.

  1. Scrub, Soak, And Cleaning Dishes

Dishes are also important items to clean thoroughly after a fire because they will be in contact with your food. Scrub all dishes well, let them soak in a solution of bleach and water (2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon) for at least 20 minutes and scrub some more for safety. When in doubt, if a dish, pot, or pan won’t come clean, cut your losses and throw it out – especially rubber or wooden dishes that absorb smoke.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead also has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead (978.744.4545) anytime.

The Hidden Damage of a Fire Loss

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

A fire can lead to soot, water and mold damage

There’s more to fire damage than meets the eye. Fire can also cause hidden damages that may not be as easily visible. The two main culprits: smoke/soot damage and water damage. Knowing about these additional impacts on your property, and how to properly take care of them, helps ensure you’re reimbursed appropriately for your claim.

Smoke/Soot Damage

Smoke/soot damage is one of the primary hidden damages of the fire loss. Here are some things to look for to determine whether you have smoke damage:

  • Stained fabric and upholstery
  • Paint discoloration.
  • Rust, pitting and corrosion of piping, jewelry and other metal objects
  • Strong odor
  • Flooring damage

You need to take care of smoke and soot damage, and pronto! This is not the time for a DIY fix in an attempt to save a few bucks on your home’s restoration after a fire. 

Failure to properly deal with smoke/soot damage can cause long-term issues for your health as well as your property. Exposure to smoke/soot during fire restoration can occur via the skin and eyes, inhalation and ingestion. Because airborne soot particulate is invisible, you may unknowingly be affected. Once soot enters your bloodstream, it can cause respiratory issues, shortness of breath, bronchitis, asthma, stroke, heart attack, cancer, and even premature death. In infants, even short-term exposure to soot has been shown to have lifelong health consequences.

Because it can linger on surfaces and get inside of your electronics, appliances and other property, soot is usually a significant contributor to property damage after a fire. Plus the longer it remains, the harder it is to remove. Calling SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead ensures that this soot will be cleaned up properly and professionally!

Water Damage

Before dealing with the fire damage created by smoke/soot, you must first deal with the water damage. Although it’s a relief when firefighters put out the fire, pouring all that water on the flames results in water damage that can cause significant structural issues, damage to your electronic devices, appliances, furniture and important documents and, if not remedied quickly, hazardous mold growth.

Black mold can release dangerous spores into the air that can cause nausea, headaches and severe respiratory problems especially susceptible for children, the elderly and people with deficient immune systems. Pets can also be susceptible to health problems associated with the proliferation of black mold.

It’s important to take care of water damage as soon as possible so (1) you can get on with the rest of the resulting damage, and (2) to ensure hazardous mold does not grow in your property and negatively impact the health of you and your family. This is something affected homeowners cannot realistically be expected to do on their own. The only real viable solution to the dangerous effects of water damage is to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545!

Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Mold found in an Essex County home

Some homeowner’s insurance does cover mold. However, the mold covered under insurance must fall under covered peril. The language of your policy includes the conditions qualifying for a covered peril. 

Keep in mind, insurance companies limit the amount of coverage they offer so that additional coverage may cost a lot more. Again, it all depends on your insurance policy stipulations. There are also different types of claims to consider depending on your status as an owner with tenants or the owner or renting party.

First Party Coverage Claims

When you have mold in your home and make a claim with your insurance company, it’s known as a first-party property claim. You must be the policyholder to receive insurance coverage for the claim.

Third Party Coverage Claims

If you rent a home or apartment and your tenants file an insurance claim for mold, this falls under the third-party claim.

Tips for Dealing with Mold Damage

Whether insurance covers the mold in your home, you must address it as soon as possible. Allowing it to grow can lead to health problems, such as respiratory issues, throat irritation, and others. Mold thrives in moist areas. If your home has vulnerabilities to water leaks, you must address the incident within two days. Doing so can mitigate some of the health risks and property damage brought on by mold.

Other Tips for Handling Mold

The best way to handle mold is to prevent its growth at the onset. You can limit mold growth by doing the following:

  • Use air humidifiers and air conditioners to keep air moisture between 30 percent and 60 percent
  • Do not place carpets or rugs in damp areas such as basements
  • Fix small leaks immediately
  • Inspect faucet fixtures and nozzles under sinks and toilets to check for leaks

There are several measures you can take to decrease the chances of mold growth. It is especially important in humid states where moisture collects easily in different parts of the home.

Do you need more information about dealing with mold damage or mold remediation? Our trained mold specialists at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead offer 24-hour emergency services. Using the most advanced technology, our team keeps the mold from spreading any further damage.   Call us today at 978.744.4545

Tips for Commercial Water Loss

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

If you find yourself in a commercial disaster the first thing you should do is call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead.  We can dispatch an experienced team right away and we will make sure our help arrives quickly!

Tips until SERVPRO arrives:

  • Shut off the water source if identified.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood block under furniture legs.
  • Call your insurance company
  • DO NOT use regular vacuum to remove water

When we arrive we will do a very thorough dry out and complete your job in a timely manner. We have the most advanced equipment and practice the science of drying according to IICRC standards.

Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead today at 978.744.4545 and we will be there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year!

How Mold Can Affect Your Health

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Keep your home healthy and free from mold!

Chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS) is a serious, multi-symptom illness that negatively impacts more than one system in the body. Most often is it caused by exposure to harmful biotoxins or neurotoxins in our environment. These toxins may be caused by:

  • Mold in the home.
  • Pfiesteria – Microscopic organism that produces toxins known to cause large fish kills.
  • Cyanobacteria – Commonly found in lakes and rivers.
  • Lyme disease – Transmitted by tick bites.
  • Poisonous spider bites.
  • Ciguatera – A toxin affecting reef fish that are often consumed by humans.

The effects of this inflammatory syndrome vary depending on the person and their experience. However, the respiratory, neurological, psychological, and gastrointestinal symptoms can be life-changing, no matter the source, which is why it is essential to know the signs and see your doctor if you think you have it. Remember, mold allergies are not the same as mold illness, so it is critical to determine the reason for your symptoms. If you recently had flooding in your home or the interior of your household has been humid, you will also want to determine if your symptoms of CIRS are being caused by exposure to mold in your home.

Characteristics of CIRS From Mold Exposure

It is important to know that the effects of chronic inflammatory response syndrome from mold exposure will present itself differently than if it was caused by something else, such as a spider bite, a burn or lyme disease. In fact, when a person develops this syndrome due to mold exposure specifically, they will usually experience some of these symptoms, in addition to those mentioned above: 

  • Headache
  • Sinus congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Nosebleeds 
  • Itchy eyes 
  • Cough 
  • Flu symptoms 
  • Wheezing
  • Stomach ache 

These symptoms are also typical signs of illnesses like influenza, indoor and outdoor allergies, and the common cold, so it is important to see your physician if you have them. 

Checking Your Home for Signs of Mold

No matter the cause, chronic inflammatory response syndrome is a severe illness with lasting consequences. In many cases, it does develop as a result of toxic mold exposure, which is why it is important to have your home checked if you or your doctor think mold may be causing your symptoms. A professional mold inspection completed by an experienced technician will determine if mold is present, and they will let you know what needs to be done to safely remove it. 

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead is staffed with experienced experts that come to your home for a mold consultation.   Call us today at 978.744.4545

Water Loss in Your Business

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Toilet backup causes major water damage in this warehouse

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed. 

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions: 

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)? 

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

For help restoring your commercial space after a water loss, call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at (978) 744-4545. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Does Your Salem, Peabody or Marblehead Home Have A Mold Problem?

3/3/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

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 – 978.744.4545

Wildfire Damage Event

3/3/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead provides fire, soot and water damage restoration service in Essex County

The  wildfires in Southern California were devastating blazes that burned at least 96,000 acres in the Ventura area and 116,000 acres in Los Angeles County. Evacuations closed hundreds of schools and forced 200,000 people to seek safety. 

Our thoughts are with those who may have been put in harms’ way during this event. In many cases, a fire can result in a total loss for a home or business, but in others it may be a partial loss, or can result in mild smoke damage. If your home or business is affected by a fire, SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead is Here to Help®. 

About SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/ Marblehead

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

Fire or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help  978.744.4545

Protect Your Business From Water Damage

3/3/2019 (Permalink)

A water loss at your business can be a scary proposition!

Your family depends on your business. So do your employees, as well as your customers and community. So the thought of commercial water damage caused by extreme weather or plumbing failure is scary. But you don’t have to be scared. A little planning and a few precautions will help you breathe a little easier, knowing you’re ready for any commercial water damage.

Commercial Water Damage Tip: Make a Plan

Craft an emergency plan for your business. A good emergency plan should provide for the safety of all people who could enter your business, as well as set forth processes and procedures for carrying on with business during a variety of challenges.

It should include, at the very least:

  • an emergency contact list (accessible from off-site)
  • emergency procedures
  • emergency staffing instructions
  • vendor lists and contact info
  • data backup plans and other resources to support business operations in case you have to temporarily or permanently relocate your business operations.

You should note that this plan is never finished. You should always be updating and improving it with lessons you learn during any business disruption.

Commercial Water Damage Tip: Inspect, Repair, Repeat

Stuff gets old. It breaks. It fails. When plumbing or water-management equipment in your commercial facility fails, the resulting water damage restoration costs can stack up fast. So the operative word for commercial water damage prevention is maintenance.

Routinely inspect all visible plumbing, test basement sump pumps, check exterior gutters and downspouts, muck out drainage ditches and storm drains and ensure roof structures are in good repair. Commercial property managers generally agree that a water leak on a commercial property is the most costly problem you can have, often costing thousands of dollars to mitigate, once the problem develops. Good property maintenance can lop off a big chunk of commercial water damage risk, so don’t cut corners on repairs.

Commercial Water Damage Tip: Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead

A key part of any emergency plan is knowing how to get the help you need when you need it. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead is the one business owners trust when faced with scary, costly commercial water damage. If your business is disrupted by water damage, call 978.744.4545 and get peace of mind during uncertain times.

 

Preparing For Hurricane Season

3/3/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare your Essex County home for storms.

As the calendar flips into spring and summer, we’re faced with a tough reality: hurricane season 

While this year’s predictions may be milder, there’s still the chance that a hurricane could come crashing through the Massachusetts coast between now and the end of autumn when the season traditionally comes to an end. And any storm that does make landfall can still leave devastation in its wake. That means it’s still important to do everything you can to prepare for a hurricane now so you can handle the emergency should a situation arise.

Prepare Your Home

Hurricanes can cause immense damage to structures in the areas that experience the storm, and you don’t want your home to be among those hit the hardest. Thus, if you want to have your life return to normal as soon as possible, you should take the time and make the effort to protect your home.

At the outset of summer it’s a good idea to trim any trees on your property to remove any dying, thin, or brittle limbs that may fall down or become a risk factor during high winds, especially the ones that are close to your home. You’ll also want to make sure your property’s drainage lines are clear and clog-free so that flood waters have somewhere to drain out to.

Have an Evacuation Plan

The good news about hurricanes is that they often give us significant warning that they’re coming and you’ll be able to prepare to evacuate if you’re directly in the storm’s path. However, it’s extremely helpful to have the necessary supplies and a plan ready to execute. First, always be sure you have a stored supply of enough food and water to last you at least three days, plus personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, and soap. You should also have an emergency kit that includes things like flashlights, blankets, and a battery-operated radio. Instant ice packs are a good idea, and a spare supply of any important medications you or a loved one needs, such as insulin.

You should also have copies of your most important records available in a place where they can easily be packed and brought with you.

And of course, don’t consider leaving any pets or animals behind to “ride out” the storm. If you have larger animals like horses, know where they can be brought and boarded safely that’s out of the way of the storm. For dogs, cats, or other small animals, be sure to bring at least a few days’ supply of food for them, as well as a pet carrier that’s large enough for them to stand up and turn around comfortably in. Make sure they have a collar and an ID tag that’s up to date with your latest information.

Likewise, don’t assume a hotel or shelter will accept them automatically. During emergency situations, you may be required to show that their shots and vaccinations are up to date, so be sure you have that ready to go with your important records.

If your home suffers flood or water damage as a result of a storm, let our SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead experts help you set things right again.  Call us today at (978) 744-4545.

Not All Storm Water Is The Same

3/3/2019 (Permalink)

Water from storms can be harmful

How many of you remember as a kid playing in or around storm water drains or roadside ditches? It was fun, right? While you may have enjoyed splashing around in the waters, you might not realize that storm water like this may actually be contaminated with raw sewage, dangerous chemicals, or harmful bacteria and viruses capable of transmitting dangerous diseases to you.

In this same way, the harmful water that invades your home following a storm can be harmful.

Restoration Depends on Water Type

Specific steps must be taken to reduce property destruction, depending on the type of water damage. According to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), who sets the standards for the cleaning industry and water damage restoration training, there are three levels or types of water involved in damages. They include:

Category 1: Clean water

This water damage is from sanitary sources, such as an overflowing sink or tub, burst water pipes, failed supply lines to appliances, drinking fountains, or vertical falling rainwater.

Category 2: Grey water 

This water is from sources that could make you uncomfortable or ill if ingested. Washing machine, dishwasher, or urine-tainted toilet overflows belong in this category.

Category 3: Black water

This is the worst classification of water and could cause severe illness if ingested. Sewer backups, flooded rivers, feces-tainted toilet overflows, or stagnant liquid that has bacterial growth are all examples of black water.

Let the Experts Save Your Home and Belongings

Seeping water damage is progressive, pervasive and can mean valuable objects or keepsakes may become permanently damaged. The professionals you find at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead are trained on how to handle the various types of water damage. Once they arrive on the scene at a home or business, they quickly assess the situation and start the restoration process in these three areas:

  • Aggressive cleaning: Wall cavities and other surfaces are pressure washed with a detergent solution. Salvageable materials are flushed and thoroughly disinfected.
  • Moisture detection: Not all water damage is visible to the naked eye. Water trapped in structural cavities may require sophisticated detection equipment to mitigate odors, prevent mold growth and minimize structural damage.
  • Rapid structural drying: Mold begins growing on soggy surfaces within only 24 to 48 hours. Rapid drying, all the way down to the building’s substructure, is necessary to restore pre-flood conditions.

After your home floods, you may think your home and its contents are beyond hope, but many of your furnishings and belongings can be restored. With professional restoration help, your flooded home can be cleaned up, dried out, rebuilt, and reoccupied sooner than you think.

If you experience a water or flood disaster in Essex County, look for SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead… and you'll be sure that everything’s going to be okay.  You can count on  us to take prompt action to save your home and belongings.

Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545

Restoring Your Essex County Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

2/24/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events at Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, Swampscott and Middleton commercial properties 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 Salem, Peabody and Marblehead

SERVPRO of Salem, Peabody and Marblehead 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.

Who is Responsible for Water Damage in your Essex County Apartment?

2/24/2019 (Permalink)

Who is responsible for your apartment water damage?

Unfortunately, water damage is a common issue both homeowners, landlords and renters can face. The aftermath can be devastating making the property unlivable and permanent damage may occur to personal belongings. When water damage occurs in an apartment, who is responsible for the damage cost? The property owner or renter?

Renter rights

Water damage can be unpredictable and it is important to understand your renter rights and understand who is responsible for what in such an event. In general, a landlord is responsible for maintaining the property ensuring that the apartment is livable and functioning up to code. The landlord may refuse repairs, or fail to address them quick in enough – causing further damage such as mold. In the United States, basic principles in tenant rights are in place and outline the party liable for damages.  Depending on the state, rent details can vary so check with your local housing authority.

Review your lease

It’s important to know what your lease states regarding property damage. Most properties have property insurance and will list what type of damage that is covered and what is not. The lease may specify actions that may be in place depending on the severity of the water damage. If the damage is severe and the apartment is unlivable is the tenant still required to pay the rent? Can the landlord evict the tenant or can the tenant cancel their lease without penalty? In general, if the damage is minor, the tenant will not be able to cancel the lease agreement. If the terms regarding property damage are not listed in the lease, speak to your landlord about who is responsible in the event when water damage strikes.

Renters insurance

Accidents happen which is why it is essential to have renters insurance. Most places require you have it before allowing you to move in an apartment. Depending on the plan you select, coverage can vary from damages to the building, personal content and may even cover the cost of lodging while repairs are being completed.

Landlord Responsibilities

The landlord is responsible for maintaining a functional apartment ensure that it is livable. The upkeep of basic plumbing such as sinks, toilets and tubs fall on the shoulders of the landlord. Failure to maintain or repair these functions may lead to property damage and the landlord is liable due to negligence.

Damage to property and personal belongings

Water damages caused to the building itself such as flooring, walls and utilities should be covered under the landlord’s property insurance. Personal property damages fall to the responsibility of the party at fault for damages, which can be the tenant. For example, if the tenant leaves a faucet on and falls asleep causing water damages.

How SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead can help

Water damage requires a rapid response in order to minimize loss to both the property itself and belongings inside. SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead are experts at water damage cleanup in apartments and building of all sizes no matter severity of the damage. Our team of experts will assess the damage and develop an appropriate plan to restore and recover your property and contents. Contact us by calling 978.744.4545 to learn more about our water damage clean-up services.

How to Prevent Foundation Water Damage

12/2/2018 (Permalink)

Here are some tips to help you avoid foundation water damage.

If you want to keep your home’s foundation strong for years to come, it’s important for you to keep water far, far away from it. Foundation water damage can cause cracking to occur, which can ultimately weaken your foundation and compromise the safety and security of your home. You can protect your home’s foundation by preventing water from coming into contact with it from the outside. You can also take steps to prevent moisture from building up in your basement and affecting your foundation from the inside.

Clean and Maintain Your Gutters Regularly

We know what you’re probably thinking: “What in the world do my gutters have to do with my foundation?” But stick with us here.

If your gutters are all clogged up with debris or in desperate need of repair, they won’t be able to take rainwater and send it down your downspouts and away from your home. Water will be left to build up inside of your gutters every time it rains.

When this happens, there is only so much water your gutters can hold. Eventually, the water in your gutters will begin to spill out over the sides and land close to your home.

This will inevitably lead to water pooling around your foundation, and if you don’t do anything about it, moisture could start to seep into your foundation. Over time, this will make your foundation weak and also affect the soil surrounding it.

Clean your gutters at least once or twice every year and make repairs to your gutter system as necessary.

Use Downspouts to Direct Water Away From Your Home

Your gutter system might be working just fine. But if your home’s downspouts aren’t taking water and moving it away from your home, it might all be for nothing.

Your downspouts should be designed to take water from your gutters and move it at least 10 feet away from your foundation. This will prevent the water from finding its way back to your foundation, even when it rains hard for hours on end.

If your downspouts aren’t doing this right now, you should either have them redesigned to move water away from your home more effectively, or purchase downspout extensions that can carry water as far from your home as you want.

Doing either of these things will stop water from building up around your home’s foundation during a rainstorm.

Make Sure the Ground Surrounding Your Foundation Slopes Away From It

Take a look at the ground surrounding your foundation. Does it appear to be sloping in the direction of your home?

If so, this is obviously a recipe for disaster. The ground is going to encourage water to move in the direction of your foundation instead of away from your home.

The ground that sits around your foundation should be sloped at least 6 inches for 10 feet. This will ensure that the ground carries water away from your home rather than towards it.

Install a Sump Pump in Your Basement

No matter how hard you try to keep water away from your foundation and out of your home, there will likely be times when groundwater will get the best of you.

Groundwater can seep into your basement and sit there if you don’t have a way to deal with it. Consider installing a sump pump in your basement that can collect groundwater in your basement and get rid of it.

A sump pump will prevent groundwater from sitting in your basement and potentially causing foundation water damage.

Remove Water From Your Basement Following a Disaster

A sump pump will take care of most of the groundwater that makes its way into your home. But in the event that your home is affected by a flood, a broken plumbing pipe, or another disaster, your sump pump be overwhelmed with water.

That’s when you should call on the professionals at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead for assistance. We specialize in removing water from a home quickly to prevent it from causing secondary damage.

The key is to act fast and avoid any unnecessary delays when you notice water built up in your basement. The faster you can get the water removed, the better chance you have at minimizing the extent of damage.

Don’t Let Foundation Water Damage Affect Your Home

Maintaining your home’s foundation is not always the most exciting home improvement job. People aren’t going to notice when you’ve taken steps to protect your foundation.

But they will notice if you fail to avoid foundation water damage. A foundation that has been damaged due to exposure to water can weaken and put your entire home at risk.

That’s why you should stop foundation water damage at all costs. It’ll strengthen and secure your home and give you a peace of mind.

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead is always here to help. For for more information on dealing with water damage and other damage your home may experience please call us at 978.744.4545.

Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead 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.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 978.744.4545

Different Types of Storm Damage

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

Wind Damage Restoration

Hurricane damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof, to harsh winds and rains shearing away asphalt tiles. Roof repair of obvious defects usually ensues in the wake of hurricane damage and storm remediation. Correcting roof damage may challenge homeowners after a disaster, since a roof leak may not appear obvious.

How can a roof leak and roof damage escape easy detection in this situation? Wind damage may loosen flashing, eventually causing another roof leak weeks after the storm. Even a subtle roof leak of this nature can produce damp, moldy conditions inside the home. Obtaining fast roof repair may prevent long term interior damage. A wind damage home restoration expert may assist clients in receiving comprehensive roof assessments and roof repair services when hurricane damage afflicts an area. Their expertise helps property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively.

Flooding And Recovery

Flood water frequently poses a risk in coastal areas. Yet heavy rains may cause river flooding miles inland also. If the surrounding terrain cannot absorb ground water, runoff contributes to flood water. Even residents of mountainous areas sometimes sustain varying degrees of flood damage if frozen pipes rupture. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated ground water in some locations, too.

Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems. Experts need to assess ground water and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Hiring a storm restoration firm may allow you to begin your cleanup process even before water restoration occurs. (Cleaning before water restoration often proves essential yet challenging.) By relying upon a trained specialist, you'll usually obtain faster storm remediation. These experts may suggest ways to help mitigate flood water damage in the future, for instance, by requesting backup flood pump installation.

Visit http://www.SERVPROofsalempeabodymarblehead.com for more information on storm damage.

Water Damage: The Warning Signs

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

Know the signs of water damage in your home.

Flooding is very common in Essex County Massachusetts, but water damage can come from many different places and is not just a problem for people living on the coast. While the damage from a flood is pretty apparent, there are many ways water damage can happen to your home when you don’t even realize it.

Here are some common causes of water damage and how you can spot the warning signs.

Weather is a common cause of water damage. Rains (snow and ice during the winter) cause flooding that can get into your home. Ice is an especially insidious cause of water damage because it expands as it freezes, causing cracks that allow more water to enter your home.

Even if it isn’t raining or snowing there is still moisture in the air. Damp air can lead to condensation and water damage to your walls. This is especially true of basements, bathrooms, and other damp areas of your home that don’t get much airflow.

Appliances like your washing machine, garbage disposal, water heater, toilet, and air conditioner can all contribute to water damage if they leak or stop draining properly.

Water from our pipes and plumbing systems can also cause water damage. Leaks and drips can go on for months, or even years, raising your water bill and doing unseen damage to your home.

So if these are all the ways water can sneak into your home, what are the signs of water damage?

Here are a few warning signs that you have a water damage problem in your home.

Standing water – This may sound pretty obvious, but if you notice water pooling in your house you have a water problem that needs to be taken care of immediately.

Bad smells – While water doesn’t normally have much of a smell, the mold and bacteria that grow in damp environments can give off a distinct musty, wet odor. If you smell mold or mildew you might have a water issue.

Stains and spots – Stains on the ceilings or walls can be a sign of water damage. You might have a leaky pipe or roof. Call a professional to determine the cause of the problem and to clean up the damage before it becomes a serious mold problem.

Peeling paint – Paint damaged by water will start to peel, bubble, or flake off.

Uneven surfaces – Water damage can cause floors, ceilings, walls, and other surfaces to warp and feel uneven.

Cracks – Water is always seeking the path of least resistance out of your home. Water can enter through cracks and once water finds it’s way in, the crack will expand allowing even more to get into your home. Make sure you seal all visible cracks on your property.

If you notice your home has water damage call the experts at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545

Water Damage; Repair and Restoration

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

  • 24-Hour Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Water Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Water Inspection, Extraction, and Drying Equipment

When your Essex County home has water damage from flooding or leaks, you need the company that can respond immediately and has the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/ Marblehead uses advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment to help them find the moisture and to remove it as quickly as possible. Our highly trained technicians will monitor and document the drying process so that you know your property is back to normal.

Have Water or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today – 978.744.4545

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service.

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 978.744.4545

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

 Essex County Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

This Essex County home’s basement flooded due to heavy rains.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 978.744.4545

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 978.744.4545

Commercial Water Damage Assessment

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Flooded office building

Flooding and water damage events in the northshore commercial properties 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 Salem/Peabody/Marblehead

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead 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.

Have a question?

Call us today 978.744.4545

When Storms or Floods Hit Essex County, SERVPRO is Ready!

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Essex County.

SERVPRO of Salem/ Peabody/ Marblehead specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Salem, Peabody, Swampscott, Marblehead or Middleton we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today at 978.744.4545

Essex County 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Essex County MA.

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 978.744.4545

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

Water Damage Tips in Salem, Peabody and Marblehead

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen anytime!

What you can do until help arrives

 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 SERVPRO of Salem/ Peabody /Marblehead at 978.744.4545

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.

Fire Damage Restoration Process in Essex County

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Even small fires can cause extensive damage.

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today – 978.744.4545

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources. 

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action. 

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs. 

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process. 

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Your Belongings and Fire Damage

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage affects your belongings too.

Fire damage, including smoke and soot, affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead 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 – 978.744.4545

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO of Salem/ Peabody/ Marblehead 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 Salem/Peabody/Marblehead 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 Salem/Peabody/Marblehead 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!

Commercial Mold Remediation in Essex County

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can be a serious problem for your business.

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 Salem/Peabody/Marblehead, 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 – 978.744.4545

Commercial Mold Remediation Presents Unique Challenges

Mold can spread quickly through a property if left untreated. SERVPRO of Salem/ Peabody/ Marblehead 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 Salem/Peabody/Marblehead training and certifications.

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

Mold Removal vs. Mold Remediation

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold remediation

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 Salem/Peabody/ Marblehead has the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business.

Signs of Mold? Call Today – 978.744.4545

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.

  1. Emergency Contact - 978.744.4545
  2. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  3. Mold Containment
  4. Air Filtration
  5. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  6. Cleaning Contents and Belongings

Smoke and Soot Damage

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Northshore Home

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 Salem/Peabody/Marblehead 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 –978.744.4545

Nor'Easters!

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Salem, Peabody and Marblehead!

SERVPRO of Salem, Peabody and Marblehead specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Salem, Peabody and Marblehead , we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 978.744.4545

Variety of Storm Damage

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Storm damage can occur in a variety of ways!

Wind Damage Restoration

Hurricane damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof, to harsh winds and rains shearing away asphalt tiles. Roof repair of obvious defects usually ensues in the wake of hurricane damage. Correcting roof damage may challenge homeowners after a disaster, since a roof leak may not appear obvious.

How can a roof leak and roof damage escape easy detection in this situation? Wind damage may loosen flashing, eventually causing another roof leak weeks after the storm. Even a subtle roof leak of this nature can produce damp, moldy conditions inside the home. Obtaining fast roof repair may prevent long term interior damage. A wind damage home restoration expert may assist clients in receiving comprehensive roof assessments and roof repair services when hurricane damage afflicts an area. Their expertise helps property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively.

Flooding And Recovery

Flood water frequently poses a risk in coastal areas. Yet heavy rains may cause river flooding miles inland also. If the surrounding terrain cannot absorb ground water, runoff contributes to flood water. Even residents of mountainous areas sometimes sustain varying degrees of flood damage if frozen pipes rupture. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated ground water in some locations, too.

Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems. Experts need to assess ground water and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Hiring a storm restoration firm may allow you to begin your cleanup process even before water restoration occurs. (Cleaning before water restoration often proves essential yet challenging.) By relying upon a trained specialist, you'll usually obtain faster storm remediation. These experts may suggest ways to help mitigate flood water damage in the future, for instance, by requesting backup flood pump installation.

Visit www.SERVPROsalem.com for more information on storm damage.

What You Should Know About Mold Remediation and Removal

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Mold needs to be professionally identified and remediated.



Mold is found under the fungi classification. It is a soft green or at times grey growth which develops on objects or old food left for a lengthy period in warm, wet air. It can be found in outdoor and indoor places, thus, it is important for the indoor humidity to be kept below forty-five percent because a higher humidity supports the growth of this class of fungus. Floods and high humidity levels often lead to microbial growth and fungus. Microbial growth can be present in an area, but that does not classify it as mold. The most efficient method of controlling microbial growth is by the moderation of temperature. When the temperature is lowered, the rate of microbial growth decreases rapidly. 
Mold and mildew are two fungi that people often tend to confuse. Mildew appears to be powdery and white in color then later turns to brown, black or yellow. The other fungus seems fuzzy but can appear in similar colors as the mildew. Mildew damages crops while molds damage the structural foundations of homes. Both fungi are usually accompanied by a musty odor which can lead to more health issues. It likes to thrive in moisturized areas and grows quickly into colonies with water exposure. These colonies are responsible for the production of irritants and allergens that affect the health of people. 

For mitigation of mold to take place, all sources of moisture and water need to be addressed otherwise it may regrow. The first step is to remove all traces of moldy growth immediately. Five fundamental principles must be applied by homeowners and employers to ensure successful mitigation of this fungus. They should focus on the source and moisture removal, safety, contamination control and assessment. Proper mitigation is essential once the fungi is removed because areas must be monitored to prevent it from occurring again.

It is important to determine the party that will be in charge of the mold cleanup. An environmental hygienist can determine what treatment can be used for this fungus. These hygienists mitigate the problem by sealing off the affected areas with plastic sheets to stop dispersion of the spores. Fungus should be dealt with by the wearing a face mask with high filtration and neoprene gloves. Once the mold cleanup is finished, the air around it needs to be cleaned using air exchange and scrubbers. 

It is essential for the environmental hygienist to have a protective suit because harsh chemicals are used for the mold cleanup. Hard surfaces with moldy growth have to be scrubbed with water and detergent and left to dry completely. Porous materials like carpets and ceiling tiles need to be disposed of by the environmental hygienists if they get moldy. The crevices of these porous materials are prone to mold growth, and painting can only happen once the environmental hygienists complete the mold cleanup otherwise the paint peels off. The correct mitigation strategies need to be employed for effective cleanup.

Visit www.SERVPROsalem.com for more information on mold remediation.

What Commercial Owners Need To Know About Moisture and Mold

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Mold in commercial settings can cause major headaches for business owners.

Black mold and mold cleanup are among the most difficult maintenance issues that commercial owners face in Salem MA. Microscopic yet aggressive, these diminutive agents of decay are capable of causing rapid structural damage and can be difficult to detect. Maintaining a low-humidity interior to prevent moisture problems and taking immediate action to inhibit fungal growth after a flooding event are essential for avoiding potentially devastating restoration or remodeling steps.


Why Is Mold Such a Serious Structural Problem?

High indoor humidity is the most common causes of black mold growth. When moisture levels meet low-airflow interiors, most porous building materials become an easy target of infestation, including drywall, insulation, hardwood flooring and of course carpeting.

While many commercial buildings created after the 1970s have been designed to accommodate high-humidity environments, prevention and maintenance remain key. Common signs that your building may be at high risk for black mold growth include:

• Roofs, soffits or other exterior portions of the building material that consistently leak
• Poorly maintained fire sprinkling systems that drip
• Indoor humidity levels that are consistently over 60 percent
• Standing water or frequent indoor condensation
• Lack of thorough ventilation
• Poorly maintained HVAC equipment
• Distinctive, musty odor

How Do You Remediate Indoor Mold?

While severe mold growth can be easily detected visually, in many cases fungal infestations do their worst damage behind the scenes, ruining insulation and rotting walls from the inside out. Even a relatively minor moisture problem can provide the perfect conditions for rapid growth.

For these reasons it is essential that business owners and property managers contact an experienced company to quickly diagnose and address issues. Your local remediation specialist will provide a preliminary visual inspection, perform an air quality check, and take laboratory samples to determine the concentration and type of mold present. Depending on the severity of damage, ventilation, deodorizing and sanitizing procedures may be needed to rehabilitate indoor spaces.

Visit www.SERVPROsalem.com for more information on mold.

Mold Tips...Don't Be Afraid To Ask

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Questions about mold? Don't be afraid to ask!

The wet winter and fluctuating temperatures create a favorable environment for mold issues this spring. Changes in weather create stress on structures.  Structures that are stressed are prone to moisture and water issues.   Mold is a secondary damage to water damage or excessive moisture.  Preventing mold is a matter of keeping a structure dry by quickly repairing or cutting off a source of moisture and when you have a leak or larger issue, having it properly repaired.

Here are some Mold basics:

    1. Mold exposure can cause health effects.
    1. The best way to control indoor mold growth is to eliminate sources of moisture.
    1. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture. Do this by fixing the source of leaks; reduce humidity in the atmosphere with proper ventilation and dehumidification if necessary; properly dry all building materials and furnishings if you have a floor or major leak.
    1. Insulate around windows and piping to minimize condensation on cold surfaces.
    1. Mold can only grow on organic materials (wood, paper, carpets and foods).
    1. The EPA recommends that homeowners limit their mold cleaning to small effected areas, 3ft x 3ft. The reason is mold spores are very difficult to kill and it is very easy to cross contaminate an area with the invisible spores.

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead is certified to clean and remove mold and we are happy to answer any questions you have. Give us a call at 978.744.4545 if you want to discuss a mold issue or are in need of help.

Commercial Fire Damage

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial fire damage can be devastating for businesses.

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, SERVPRO of Salem, Peabody and Marblehead and we’ll respond immediately to get you back to business.

Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our Professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.

Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead at 978.744.4545 for any fire damage restoration needs!

Fire Damage Restoration Process

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

After the fire, call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead!

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today – 978.744.4545

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources. 

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action. 

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs. 

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process. 

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.

If you see mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead 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.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 978.744.4545

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor

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 Salem/Peabody/Marblehead 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 – 978.744.4545

Emergency Response

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

During a dire life-threatening crisis it’s preposterous to consider shopping for comparative ambulance quotes. Wisely, city and country agencies regulate ambulance companies to prevent unscrupulous and opportunistic behavior. When we need a first responder to provide life saving remedies we make the emergency call fully assured that help is on the way to mitigate and stabilize the situation.

At SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead, we are an experienced property damage mitigation and restoration service provider for commercial and income properties. Similar to a medical emergency the response time for property disaster emergencies is also critical. Without prompt mitigation, things usually go from bad to worse. Repair costs increase the longer you wait. Rapid response to property disasters can also keep affected businesses operating and commercial and residential tenants in place. Even if companies and residents are temporarily displaced, prompt mitigation will help them return more quickly.

Yet, some property and facility managers remain hampered by a requirement to collect comparative bids. For example, at our company our telephone receptionists regularly receive calls from onsite property managers who say, “I’ve got standing water on the first floor of my building can you give us a quote?” Our customer service representatives often hear the following comment, “We have to get at least three quotes before we can use an emergency restoration vendor.”

 We understand a client’s responsibility to protect private resources, or public monies by hiring a qualified and approved company that will provide excellent services at a fair price. That’s why we make the following suggestion… 

Please understand that there are two distinct phases of work involved in most property damage cleanup projects. Unfortunately these two phases are often seen as just one point of service. Admittedly the property disaster recovery industry has not done the best job in describing mitigation and restoration, or how this information can be used to your benefit.

Mitigate: To cause or to become less harsh, to make less severe or painful

Restoration: Bringing back to original position or condition.

Mitigation is the work performed by the first responders who provide critical service to contain the damage to the property. Water mitigation responders extract standing water, move contents to non-affected areas, begin to dry and clean the indoor environment to prevent the moisture from spreading and causing further (secondary) damage.

Using our ambulance analogy, the medical first responders may take the patient to the hospital for further treatments such as surgery and recovery. Similarly, water damage mitigation responders may hand the project over to the restoration team who will bring the property back to its original preloss condition.

Whether you need emergency property damage mitigation or restoration services, SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead will be there for you. You have our commitment that our fees are reasonable. 

Our customer service and commercial account representatives look forward to serving you. Please get in touch: 978.744.4545

Contaminated Flood Waters Contain Pathogens and Dangerous Debris

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Contaminated flood water needs to be handled carefully.

When we respond to a case of flood damage due to a storm, one of the most frequent questions our technicians get is, "What is black water?", Black water is heavily contaminated water which is not only unsafe to drink but can also be hazardous simply to be around. It can be difficult to judge conditions in black water due to its typical gray, brown, or black coloration, with small particles often hiding potentially far greater hazards lying within. Here are a few things that can be found in a typical sample of black flood water.

Dirt and Soil: Typically, most of the coloration in black water comes from dirt and soil trapped within. Many cases of flood damage result from heavy storms and rain, and these floodwaters more often than not pick up significant amounts of soil before they ever reach a home. Although this dirt may sound harmless, it, in reality, makes the water much heavier and more difficult to navigate if you get caught in it.

Microorganisms in Black Water: Although the amount and type of organisms in flood can vary depending on its causes and specifics, almost all samples of black water contain very high levels of microorganisms. These may be parasites, bacteria, viruses, mold, or many other types of organism, and they may be able to cause health effects if ingested or absorbed through the skin. This is why it is never advised to drink flood waters and to seek medical attention immediately if you have.

Sharp Metal and Glass: It can be very difficult to see sharp objects in a mass of floodwater, but even if you feel you are confident that such materials are not in the water, it is best always to assume they are. Sharp materials, even if they are tiny, often constitute one of the water's greatest risks. If they open up a small cut or wound, this spot may go unnoticed by you but later on can possibly develop a bad infection. If you have been cut or had black water touch an open wound, immediately disinfect the wound and apply medical aid as needed.

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead deals with flood damage so that you don't have to. If your home has been caught in a flood, call us at 978.744.4545 for mitigation and restoration services.

Emergency Preparedness: Make a Plan!

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Recent emergency evacuation in Houston

In recent years, many forms of disasters have affected the United States. Flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, and blizzards are natural disasters that can threaten your home, business, and community.

If you've seen the news, you know that emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities just like yours, to people like you. We've seen tornado outbreaks, river floods, flash floods, historic earthquakes, tsunamis, and even water main breaks and power outages in U.S. cities affecting millions of people for days at a time.

Here are three steps to help you prepare and plan in the event that you must go for three days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket, or local services:

1. Get a Kit: Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for you and those in your care - water, non-perishable food, first aid, prescriptions, flashlight, battery-powered radio - for a checklist of supplies, visit www.ready.gov

2. Make a Plan: Discuss, agree on, and document an emergency plan with those in your care. For sample plans, see www.ready.gov - Work together with neighbors, colleagues, and others to help build community resilience.

3. Be Informed: Free information is available to assist you from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial resources. You can find preparedness information by:

- Accessing www.ready.gov to learn what to do before, during, and after an emergency.

- Contacting your local emergency management agency to get essential information on specific hazards to your area, local plans for shelter and evacuation, ways to get information before and during an emergency, and how to sign up for emergency alerts if they are available.

- Contacting your local firehouse and asking for a tour and information about preparedness.

Police, fire, and rescue may not always be able to reach you quickly, such as if trees and power lines are down, or if they're overwhelmed by demand from an emergency. The most important step you can take in helping your local responders is being able to take care of yourself and those in your care; the more people who are prepared, the quicker the community will recover.

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead wants you to be aware of the steps to take to help prepare for a natural disaster. For more information on disaster preparedness, visit www.ready.gov, or call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead; our professionals can help your business prepare for the unexpected by offering an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). The profile is designed to be a quick and easy snapshot of your business, providing critical facility information needed for detailed emergency preparation. For a customized Emergency READY Plan, contact us at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/MArblehead today, at 978.744.4545

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events at Salem/Peabody/Marblehead commercial properties 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 Salem/Peabody/Marblehead

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead 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.

IICRC Certified Firm

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

We are an IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.

For Immediate Service in Salem, Peabody, Marblehead Call SERVPRO

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

We provide immediate service, day or night!

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Salem/Peabody and Marblehead. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 978.744.4545

Residential Services

Whether your Salem/Peabody/Marblehead home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Salem/Peabody, Marblehead commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. 

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

10/10/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties 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 Salem/Peabody/Marblehead

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead 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.

Do You Have A Mold Problem?

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Mold can grow anywhere that moisture is prevalent. This includes basements, attics and bathrooms

Does YourHome Have A Mold Problem?

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 SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead Today –978-744-4545

When Storms of Floods Hit, SERVPRO is Ready!

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Floods are in the news as the result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. But floods happen from smaller regional storms as we saw in Lynn MA in Sept.

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit eastern Massachusetts we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 978-744-4545

Faster to Your Water Damage Event

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Santa Barbara provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 at 978-744-4545

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service.

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today – 978-744-4545

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead

SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

http://www.SERVPROsalempeabodymarblehead.com/employee-photos

Basement flooding

10/2/2017 (Permalink)

This is a basement in Swampscott, MA that was flooded during the recent heavy rains.

Salem/Peabody/Marblehead Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

Thishome’s basement flooded due to heavy rains.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today – 978-744-4545

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded?  Call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead today!

978-744-4545

Water Damage Event

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Has the Experience and Recognizes the Urgency to Deal Quickly with Your Water Damage Event

 

Water damage from poor drainage, damaged plumbing, or a thunderstorm can ruin a home, forcing the owner to spend thousands in repairs. In the spring, Massachusetts weather can change suddenly from clear to rain. Owners and renters have to be prepared to protect their residences and evacuate quickly when that is no longer an option.

Regardless of the source of the damage, water removal needs to happen rapidly. SERVPRO has the experience to clear out Salem homes as soon as we can and residents quickly return to their regular lives. For most homes, we can pump out standing water and dry out the interior in just a few days.

Our office maintains a 24-hour response team trained in removing water and dealing with other disasters. Since damage can begin in a day, our first task is to pump out areas of standing water just as soon as we can set up the equipment. We keep an extensive inventory on-site of water pumps designed for private homes of every size and type. We also maintain a series of generators and generator trucks to ensure continuous power if a home's electrical system was compromised or if a storm has knocked out local power.

 

Removing standing water is just the beginning. Our technicians next draw down excessive levels of humidity. To do this, they set up air movers within the home and exhaust fans at entry and exit points (doors and windows). These machines draw out damp air and replace it with drier air. To speed up this process, we also use dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the surrounding air. Depending on the size, each one can pull over 20 gallons of water each day.

This same equipment is also useful to remove water from carpets, carpet padding, and wood flooring. By teaming the air movers and fans with specialized water vacuums and heaters, our response team can save most flooring with no damage to the surface. Removing flood water (regardless of the source) requires a trained team of restoration experts and commercial grade equipment. If you need our services, SERVPRO of Salem is here to help put your home to its original state.

Water Damage Source

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Rely on SERVPRO to Restore Your Water Damaged Property

Water damage does not just happen when a pipe bursts or a water heater can no longer stand the pressure. The truth is, water damage inside a home can come from practically anywhere. While two of the most common causes are burst pipes and leaky water heaters, it can also happen due to a faulty washing machine or dishwasher. This type of damage can also occur as a direct result of storm damage which destroys the roof or some other structural part of the house, effectively leaving it open to the elements. It also happens in the event of fire as the first responders attempt to put out the flames. It is inevitable that there will be a certain amount of water present in the home. The question is, how should you handle it when this type of thing happens to you?

You can rely on SERVPRO to help you come to terms with everything that is going on. In fact, we have spent some years perfecting our techniques when it comes to repairing water damage and performing restoration services in businesses and homes of all sizes. We use proven techniques that get the best results because we understand that you want to be able to preserve as many of your possessions as possible.

When you have any crisis inside your home, whether the damage is confined to one room or one hallway or it is present throughout the entire home, you need professionals that know what they are doing. At SERVPRO, we can provide you with one of the most important elements that you will ever have when it feels like your entire world has been turned upside down- peace of mind. You might look at your home and wonder how anybody would ever be able to clean up a mess like that, but you can rest assured that we have both the expertise and the equipment to get it done and we have plenty of experience when it comes to handling challenging situations.  

We incorporate special wet vacuums as well as dryers (air movers and dehumidifiers) to help dry things out as quickly as possible, and we utilize reliable, proven techniques to restore as much as possible. The good news is that even when it looks like there isn't anything that can be done and everything is lost, there is a better-than-average chance that SERVPRO will be able to get the job done on your behalf. The truth is, if you try to clean things up yourself you don't really know what you're dealing with. The damage could be far more significant than it appears on the surface.

We can check for any structural deficiencies, restore your home and your personal possessions, and ensure that you don't have to deal with mold growth. We don't recommend that anyone attempts to clean up black mold on their own, so it requires the services of an organization like ours to safely get rid of the water and inhibit the growth of mold. You and your family deserve a healthy and safe home environment.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are directly impacted by water damage, the first thing you have to do is take action. The longer you wait, the worse the problem could potentially become.

Therefore, you should not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Salem Massachusetts at (978) 744-4545. We can tell you exactly what you are facing, what it will take to restore the damage and whether or not we can fully restore everything to its preloss condition.

Air Movement Is Vital For Flood Damage

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Air Movement Is Vital For Flood Damage Repairs

For more than two decades, water damage restorers have been utilizing air moving equipment for the purposes of structural drying. The reason for this is because controlled drying processes depend on evaporation – the transition of liquid water to vapor.

Several different factors influence the rate of evaporation. Most are linked directly to changes in the air around damaged materials. Therefore, the application of air movement at the surface of wet objects is essential for the successful repair of water damage in North Shore homes.

The Control Of Microbial Growth
High powered air movers are very effective when it comes to drying surface water. At SERVPRO, Salem MA they are a critical tool for preventing microbial growth. Practically speaking, if water activity (aw) can be limited to a level below 0.75, the development of microbes is slower. However, if held at a level under 0.65 aw, it is difficult for any microbes to grow, even on the most vulnerable materials.

It means that SERVPRO has to commit to drying all damaged materials in order to reach an equilibrium with an environment below the 0.65 aw cut off. The fastest way to do this is to install air movers and direct clean, dry air over wet surfaces. Crucially, if the exposed surface of hygroscopic substances (plasterboard) get dried quickly but their interior remains wet, microbial growth is still unlikely.

The Even Distribution Of Heat And Air
As the drying process progresses, SERVPRO Salem tightly regulates the humidity, temperature, and airflow within the water damaged space. When air movers get used correctly, they must redirect clean air and support the even distribution of heat to any materials which are still intolerably wet. As the job is nearing completion, the technicians can start to relax humidity and airflow controls, but they must still maintain established drying goals. Moisture tests are carried out periodically to determine how much moisture the materials in the room contain and how long it is likely to take for them to be dried out.

At SERVPRO of Salem MA, we take water damage restoration seriously. By using sophisticated structural drying techniques, our technicians ensure that all excess water, damp, and moisture gets eliminated. 

SERVPRO ERP

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Preparation is Key for Water Damage Remediation

SERVPRO's new Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) system allows business owners to easily keep track of all properties and locations during a hurricane, and respond appropriately. Using the tool, you can create multiple individualized profiles and information sets for each property you own, and with just a few clicks after an emergency, our technicians will have all the information they need to get to work on mitigating damage. As a result, they can save owners of multiple properties, such as landlords, thousands in repair costs after a hurricane by responding quickly to each location.
 
During a hurricane, commercial water damage in Coral Gables apartments and rental properties can come in the form of flooding, staining, physical damages, rain exposure, and any of a host of other small problems. Usually, our technicians have to spend precious time evaluating the building and formulating an approach, but this process is hastened with SERVPRO's ERP system. Through it, they can access relevant contact information, building plans and layouts, and critical information about utility systems. This is especially useful in attached properties, which may share utilities and resources with neighboring locations.
 
Generally, the information you submit to the ERP system is the same information that we will ask for during the emergency. The main difference is that instead of having to operate under heavy time constraints and rely on you to be available to provide that information, we can access the information digitally and before we even arrive. When a disaster like a hurricane hits, you can log onto our website or open up the app and have us responding with all the info we need in seconds. For apartments and rental properties, this can include relevant information and contact routes for tenants, ensuring that they make it through the process unscathed as well.
 

Fire Safety

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Fire is FAST!

There is little time! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames. Most deadly fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.

Fire is HOT!

Heat is more threatening than flames. A fire's heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes, a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover.

Fire is DARK!

Fire isn't bright, it's pitch black. Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you've lived in for years.

Fire is DEADLY!

Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.

Only when we know the true nature of fire can we prepare our families and ourselves.

Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan

In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly.

Twice each year, practice your home fire escape plan.  Some tips to consider when preparing this plan include:

  • Find two ways to get out of each room.
  • If the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke, you will need a second way out. A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows.
  • Only purchase collapsible ladders evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
  • Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
  • Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Windows and doors with security bars must have quick release devices to allow them to be opened immediately in an emergency. Make sure everyone in the family understands and practices how to properly operate and open locked or barred doors and windows.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters.

Smoke Alarms

A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

  • Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors
  • Test batteries monthly.
  • Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year (except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries)
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends installing smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions when installing smoke alarms.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake. Open a window or door and press the “hush” button, wave a towel at the alarm to clear the air, or move the entire alarm several feet away from the location.

Smoke Alarm Safety People with Access or Functional Needs

  • Caregivers are encouraged to check the smoke alarms of those who are unable to do it themselves.
  • Audible alarms for visually impaired people should pause with a small window of silence between each successive cycle so that they can listen to instructions or voices of others.
  • Smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for the hearing impaired. Contact your local fire department for information about obtaining a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm.
  • Smoke alarms with a strobe light outside the home to catch the attention of neighbors, and emergency call systems for summoning help, are also available.

More Fire Safety Tips

  • Sleep with your door closed.
  • Only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers should consider using them when appropriate.  Contact your local fire department for information on training in your area and what kind to buy for your home.
  • Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your residence.
  • Ask your local fire department to inspect your residence for fire safety and prevention.
  • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • When the smoke alarm sounds, get out fast. You may have only seconds to escape safely.
  • If there is smoke blocking your door or first way out, use your second way out.
  • Smoke is toxic. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
  • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.  Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands.  Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.  If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.  Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes.  Cover with a clean, dry cloth.  Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.
  

Fire Restoration

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

After A Fire Contact SERVPRO For Fire Damage Repair and Restoration

While the amount of what you own may not reach hoarder level, after a fire has rampaged through your home, you may still be surprised at the number of items covered in soot that you now need to sort through. Without sifting through the many items, it's impossible to clean the ones that are still good. This is not a small job, and many people just throw everything away. This isn't good for the environment, or for your bank account.

Replacing everything in your North Shore home that shows signs of fire damage might seem like the easiest route, but it isn't the best course for all people. If you have very few items, and they are visibly damaged by heat instead of soot, then that might be the only course you have anyway. For those who have families and all of the many things that go along with taking care of children, you'll be aware of the memories you'll also be throwing away. This also applies to those whose children have grown and moved out, and for many others.

Cleaning up after a fire is a complicated process. Soot is also full of carcinogens and irritants. The particles can be so small that they are also very abrasive, and cleaning must be one as soon as possible. One or two unskilled people will not be able to clean at the rate needed to stop the corrosive activity of the soot. Instead, a team of skilled and highly trained individuals should be utilized to help ensure that your items are cleaned correctly.

At SERVPRO, we have experience and skills backed by training and certification in all aspects of fire damage clean up, along with repair and restoration concepts that will have your home looking, feeling, and smelling “Like it never even happened.” We won't only clean your personal belongings and furniture but also your walls, carpeting, rugs, ceilings, upholstered and non-upholstered furniture, glass and metal accents, cabinetry, doors and wooden trim, and draperies. We will bag and remove your clothing, bedding, and other linens to be washed at our facility with special cleaners that will not only remove the soot, but also the scent of the fire, and return them to you smelling fresh and clean again.

Mold Remediation Massachusetts

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Damage Restoration

Have you found evidence of mold contamination in various areas of your home? Did you know that it may not be possible for you to control the spread of mold spores all by yourself?

When you discover mold damage in your North Shore home, there are a few things you should know. Beginning with, we are available if you determine that your situation is out of control and you need professional assistance. SERVPRO technicians would like to help educate you more about why mold exists and how it makes its way into your home. It is a constant part of our environment; microscopic spores exist in the air that we breathe, the food that we eat, and almost every facet of our environment.

Mold is rather harmless in small quantities; it only becomes harmful when we provide it with the correct conditions to multiply. However, you should also know that it is impossible to remove it from your home entirely. You can limit the exposure that you experience by properly maintaining and controlling the different water sources that exist in your home.

At SERVPRO we highly suggest that if you discover a water-damaged area in your home, that you find the water source, clean and dry the affected area, or immediately seek help. You need to act quickly; mold only needs 24-48 hours to begin spreading. Your entire home could become infested before you realize what has happened. Mold spores can reach areas that you cannot see and make your situation extremely hard to control.

If you are only facing small patches of mold damage, you can likely handle the job yourself. However, anything larger than three square feet is entirely different. Attempting to handle large contaminated areas could cause you to spread the infection even further, without even knowing. Choosing to hire a professional, like SERVPRO Salem, is the best option.

If you notice that your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system contains mold, you need to shut the system off entirely and seek professional cleaning services immediately. Running the system could cause you to spread the contamination, everywhere. When you are facing a mold damage situation and need professional help,

MOLD FAQs

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

What is mold?

 

Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Mold grows best in warm, damp, and humid conditions and spreads and reproduces by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, even dry conditions that do not support normal mold  growth.

 

What are some kinds of indoor mold?

 

 

    • Cladosporium

 

    • Penicillium

 

    • Alternaria

 

    • Aspergillus

 

 

Where is mold found?

 

Mold is found in virtually every environment and can be detected indoors and outdoors, year round. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions. Outdoors it can be found in shady, damp areas or places where leaves or other vegetation is decomposing. Indoors, mold can be found where humidity levels are high, such as basements or showers.

 

Specific Recommendations on how to keep mold down

 

 

    • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50% — all day long. Using an air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the levels low, however, bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in moisture levels and air temperature.

 

    • Run a dehumidifier in enclosed spaces such as basements.

 

    • Be sure the home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans.

 

    • Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.

 

    • Clean bathrooms with mold or mildew killing products.

 

    • Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.

 

  • Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.

Smoke & Soot Facts

5/18/2017 (Permalink)

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 Saginaw 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 – (978) 744-4545

  SERVPRO of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead Massachusetts
 Superior Company For Mold Damage Restoration

The Need For Speed!

3/31/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage can be caused by many things: sewer line and toilet backups, sump pump and water heater failures, broken pipes, washing machine and dishwasher leaks, ice maker problems, flooding due to heavy rain, ground water seeping into the basement and natural disasters.

But it doesn’t take a lot of water to cause tremendous damage. Just an inch or two can destroy carpets and dry wall, warp wood floors, damage building components, and trash home furnishings and personal items, including photo albums and family heirlooms.

Even after the water seems to disappear, excess moisture can hide in your floor coverings, foundation, wood structures and walls—causing major damage to your property and creating the perfect environment for mold and other fungi growth.

But if you catch it in time, you can ward off a lot of the damage and save money and headaches down the road. It’s important that water is quickly removed and the property dried, ventilated and disinfected to inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew and other microorganisms that are harmful.

The key is having the phone number for a SERVPRO Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, Swampscott, Middleton, Beverly, Gloucester, Essex, Manchester and water restoration team you trust ahead of time, so you can take care of the problem quickly. Here are a few things to look for before choosing a water restoration company:

  • A well-trained and knowledgeable team. Each technician should have received an Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and perform water restoration services in compliance with the IICRC S500 standards for professional water damage restoration.
  • State-of-the-art equipment/techniques. Ask the company if it uses efficient dehumidifying units and air movers to eliminate moisture and prevent secondary damage to furniture, walls and flooring, as well as extraction processes with both suction and compression, which bring water to the surface and suctioning it away, so it cannot be re-absorbed into the carpet or pad.
  • Vehicles should be fully equipped with state-of-the art extraction, drying and moisture testing equipment for all types of water problems.
  • Professionals should work directly with your insurance carrier so you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
  • They should be available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, including holidays.

Faster to Any-Sized Disaster

2/23/2017 (Permalink)

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, you can depend on SERVPRO of Salem/ Peabody/ Marblehead, whether you need emergency flood damage restoration or your upholstery cleaned. Our Professionals have the training, experience, and equipment to make your house feel like home again.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

ICE DAM EDUCATION

2/17/2017 (Permalink)

About ice dams

 

The icicles hanging from your eaves and gutters last year may be a faint memory now. But winter is coming, and along with it one of your home's worst enemies—ice dams. Ice dams are continuous chunks of ice that form along the margins of your roof. While frozen, they're no more trouble than the icicles that hang down. But during the warmer parts of a winter day, water melting off the roof pools behind the ice (Fig. A), then seeps back up under the shingles. Sometimes water can work its way 5 or even 10 ft. back up under the shingles. Eventually it drips through the roof into the soffits (the outside overhangs), walls, and worst of all, onto your ceilings. You'll first see rust spots on drywall fasteners, then perhaps peeling paint, sagging drywall and stains around windows and doors (Fig. A). Insurance companies pay millions of dollars to thousands of homeowners annually to repair the damage. But it's never enough to cover the time and aggravation of getting everything fixed.

Now is the best time to stop ice dams, before winter comes and before they build up. In this article, we'll tell you the best ways to prevent ice dams. And we'll also outline the few options you have once you've got them.

 

Figure A: How Ice Dams Form

Ice dams occur after heavy snowfall when warm air in the attic causes the roof to warm and the snow to melt. Water running down the roof refreezes when it reaches the colder roof edge, forming a mound of ice. The ice traps meltwater, which can seep back up under shingles and drip through the roof into your house, causing wet and stained ceilings and walls, and peeling paint and rot.

 

Stop ice dams with a cold roof

 

Ice dams (and icicles) form when snow melts, runs down your roof and refreezes near the edge. This only occurs when part of your roof warms to above 32 degrees F, warm enough to melt the snow, while the roof edge remains below freezing. This scenario is often the result of a warm attic. In most homes, heat escapes through ceilings into the attic and warms the wood and shingles directly above it (Fig. A). Although the outdoor temperature is below freezing, the snow melts over the warmed section of roof. When the meltwater runs down the roof, it hits the cold edge not warmed by the attic. There it freezes, creating a rim of ice. This rim can grow, trap more water behind it, and bingo—you have a full-fledged ice dam.

The key to preventing ice dams is simply to keep your attic and roof cold. After a snowfall, a cold roof will have a thick blanket of snow. A warmer roof, however, will soon have clear spots where the snow has melted off, and may well have icicles hanging from the eaves.

To keep your roof cold, follow these three steps:

1. Close up attic bypasses
In the average home, about one-third of the heat loss is through the ceiling into the attic. And most of that loss comes from air leaks caused by unblocked walls, gaps in drywall, and cracks around light fixtures, plumbing pipes, chimneys, access hatches and other ceiling penetrations (Fig. A). Air leaks can be tough to stop. You have to climb into your attic, pull or rake back insulation, and plug the leaks using foam, caulk and other methods. Low roof angles make some air leaks difficult to reach. This work is definitely a cool weather project; your attic will be unbearably hot otherwise. Always wear a dust mask, a long-sleeved shirt and long pants to help prevent skin irritations caused by insulation.

Bonus: By stopping air leakage to mitigate ice dams, you'll save energy and reduce both your heating and your air conditioning bills.

2. Measure your attic insulation level
While you're in the attic, check the depth of your attic insulation. Building codes require about 12 to 14 in. of fiberglass or cellulose (Fig. B). Add more if you have less than 8 in. and have had ice dam problems in the past. Blown-in cellulose and fiberglass are usually better than hand-placed batts, because they fill more tightly around rafters, joists and other obstructions, leaving fewer gaps. It's usually worth hiring a professional for this job; you probably won't save much by doing it yourself. However, if you can't find a good price, you can rent a blowing machine from a rental yard or home center. Often, the use of the machine is free with the purchase of insulation.

3. Add roof and soffit vents
Attic ventilation draws in cold outdoor air and flushes out warmer attic air, cooling the attic and the roof in the process (Fig. B). The minimum ventilation area (size of the openings) should be about 1 sq. ft. of vent per 300 sq. ft. of ceiling area (attic floor area), when half the vent area is low on the roof and half is high. Actually figuring all this out is a bit complex; you'd have to examine your existing vents to find the area of each, which is stamped on them. As a rule of thumb, put an 8 x 16-in. vent in the underside of the overhang (soffit) in every other rafter space (Fig. B). (If you're planning to rebuild the soffit, install a continuous 2-1/2-in.-wide “strip” vent, because it will look better.) And install a continuous ridge vent along the peak (Fig. B). If the ridge on your roof is much shorter than the roof edge—on pyramid-shaped roofs, for example—add the common square-shaped roof vents near the peak (Fig. B). Add enough so their ventilating area is about equal to the area of soffit vents. This might deliver a whole lot more ventilation than the minimum requirement, but don't worry. You're unlikely to have too much ventilation.

In addition:

  • Some roof types are difficult to vent, especially roofs with angled ceilings and no attic, roofs with skylights, flat roof dormers and low-slope roofs. You may have to rely on the secondary strategies we list in the next section.
  • Insulation, especially the blown-in type, can block the airflow (Fig. A). Take a long 1x2 up into the attic with you and poke it through the spaces between rafters over the exterior walls to make sure they're open. Baffles (Fig. B) usually prevent this problem. If you don't have them, add them before installing additional insulation. A shot of air from a compressor hose from the outside will open plugged soffit vents.
  • Assessing the venting is tricky on homes that have had aluminum retrofitted over old soffits. If you have persistent ice damming in one area, you might have to remove several aluminum sections to check the venting.

Reminder
Climbing onto your roof can be dangerous. Follow safety procedures.

 Keep the roof cold to minimize ice dams. Upgrade attic insulation to about R-40, plug up air leaks to the attic and improve attic ventilation.

What Causes Lighting

2/17/2017 (Permalink)


Lightning is an electric current. Within a thundercloud way up in the sky, many small bits of ice (frozen raindrops) bump into each other as they move around in the air. All of those collisions create an electric charge. After a while, the whole cloud fills up with electrical charges. The positive charges or protons form at the top of the cloud and the negative charges or electrons form at the bottom of the cloud. Since opposites attract, that causes a positive charge to build up on the ground beneath the cloud. The grounds electrical charge concentrates around anything that sticks up, such as mountains, people, or single trees. The charge coming up from these points eventually connects with a charge reaching down from the clouds and - zap - lightning strikes!

Understanding Commercial Insurance

2/17/2017 (Permalink)

Understanding Commercial Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is a coverage that is often overlooked by many businesses that are not located within a Special Hazard Flood Area (SHFA), aka the 100 year flood plain.  Contrary to popular belief, flood insurance can be purchased by just about anyone in the United States whether you are in a SHFA or not.

The federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the primary writer of flood insurance in the country; however they offer only limited property limits and limited coverage options. For a business, the NFIP will offer up to $500,000 of coverage on the building and $500,000 of coverage on the contents in the building, with deductible options up to $50,000.  However, unlike most property policies that will offer Replacement Cost coverage (no deduction for depreciation), the NFIP’s loss settlement structure is Actual Cash Value only, meaning they will deduct for depreciation on both the building and the contents.  Also, the deductible applies separately to the building and contents (two deductibles).  Finally, the NFIP does NOT offer Business Interruption coverage.  So if your business is shut down for any period of time after a flood loss, there will be no compensation for your lost business income.

Fortunately, there are a few non-NFIP insurance markets that have recently begun writing flood insurance in competition with the NFIP, and some will offer Business Interruption coverage.  But non-NFIP markets don’t accept every risk like the NFIP does so they won’t write everyone.  Another possible way to get Business Interruption coverage is to purchase excess flood coverage above the NFIP policy.  This would give you additional flood property limits above the NFIP’s $500,000 and then you may be able to add Business Interruption coverage to the excess policy.  You would have to decide if the additional cost is worth the coverage, but most people who have suffered an uncovered loss usually wish they had paid the extra money after the fact.

Spontaneous Combustion

2/17/2017 (Permalink)

Spontaneous Coal Combustion

 

Spontaneous heating of coal occurs when sufficient oxygen is available to sustain the low temperature reaction of coal with oxygen but the heat produced by the coal oxidation is not adequately dissipated by conduction or convection.

This process begins a vicious cycle where the rate of oxidation increases as the temperature increases and vice versa, or in what the study authors call a thermal runaway where a fire ensues.

Relatively common, as of January 2013, over 200 coal fires were burning in the U.S. alone. These blazes are notoriously difficult to extinguish, and one coalmine fire that could have arisen from spontaneous combustion, the Centralia Mine Fire which ignited in 1962, still burns today.

Spontaneous Hay Combustion

Counter-intuitively, hay will spontaneously combust if it gets too wet

 

Dry hay (stored at 15 percent moisture or less) is safe for long-term storage. However, if the hay has become wet the quality has been permanently changed and the potential fire hazard from spontaneous combustion increased.

How does this work? this spontaneous heating is the result of biological and chemical forces:

 The wet hay will first stimulate microbial growth and as these organisms grow they produce heat while drying out the surrounding surfaces of the hay for energy. More drying surfaces produces more microbial growth . . . . When the bale temperature reaches about 150F . . . heat resistant bacteria, called exothermic bacteria, start a process of chemical change that rapidly increases the temperatures to the point of spontaneous combustion.

Haystack fires are serious business. One large fire (cause unknown) in Yolo County, California burned for several days, and losses were "estimated at $2 million."

Spontaneous Linseed Oil Combustion

A common household product, linseed oil is used to protect wood and clean tools. Typically, cloth rags are soaked in the oil in order to make application easier; however, when these rags are not properly stored.

Linseed oil evaporates very rapidly causing an exothermic reach, which accelerates as the temperature of the rags increases. When the accumulated heat exceeds the rate of heat dissipation, the temperature increases and may eventually become hot enough to cause the rags to spontaneously combust.

These fires have been known to cause tremendous damage. In 1991, one of the most devastating high rise fires in the United States, in which three firefighters died, was found to have been started when workers left behind rags. 

Easily prevented, "putting your used rags on a non flammable surface to dry, in an open area like your driveway. . . . Just lay them out flat . . . Once they are dry, you can clean them up."

Spontaneous Human Combustion

In the typical case where spontaneous human combustion (SHC) is suspected, a body is found that appears to have been burned from the inside out; and, while there is tremendous burn damage to the person's torso, her extremities (hands, feet and limbs), as well as her surroundings, are not touched by the fire.

 Proponents of SHC will often point to any of several potential internal causes for the blaze. Methane in the intestines (think farts) is often suggested as a fuel source, and some believe naturally occurring enzymes could be the catalyst. Static electricity has also been named as a potential culprit.

These true believers point to stories like that of an Oklahoma man whose horribly burned body was found in his kitchen, surrounded by items and furniture that was not damaged. The 65-year-old victim was known to be a heavy smoker and drinker. Some proponents point out that alcohol is also flammable, but argue that its action had to be internal, or else other flammable items in the home would have burned.

Naysayers take this same evidence and use it to disprove the theory. They claim that these deaths occur because the human body has acted like an inside-out candle

 A candle is composed of a wick on the inside surrounded by a wax made of flammable fatty acids. The wax ignites the wick and keeps it burning. In the human body, the body fat acts as the flammable substance, and the victim's clothing or hair acts as the wick. As the fat melts from the heat, it soaks into the clothing and acts as a wax-like substance to keep the wick burning slowly. Scientists say this is why victims' bodies are destroyed yet their surroundings are barely burned.

So, regarding the Oklahoma man, naysayers would argue that he likely passed out, from drinking or otherwise, and a hot ash from his cigarette, or another external source, ignited the fire. As fire tends to burn upwards, rather than out, as long as nothing extremely flammable is around the man, we simply have a human candle that burns away leaving surrounding areas seemingly untouched.

 

Recent scholarship appears to have discovered the fuel, if not the ignition mechanism. In a study performed by Cambridge research biologist, Brian J. Ford, it was determined that acetone, a naturally occurring substance in the body, could cause the injuries seen with suspected SHC victims.

Acetone is characterized by Prof. Ford as "one flammable constituent in the body that can greatly increase in concentration," and this happens when a body is in a state of ketosis. Potential causes of ketosis include certain diets, diabetes, teething and even alcoholism. Regardless of its source, acetone is highly flammable.

 In his experiment, Prof. Ford

Marinated pork tissue in acetone [then used it] to make scale models of humans, which we clothed and set alight. They burned to ash within half an hour

Ford concluded that "for the first time a feasible cause of human combustion has been experimentally demonstrated."

 

8 Candle Safety Tips

2/17/2017 (Permalink)

8 Candle Safety Tips Everyone in Your House Should Know
 

Candles are the very soul of romance. Their flickering light gives a warmth to everything around them. They figure in song and story and cover the tops of birthday cakes and grace mantles. They are everywhere. Almost every house has at least a few buried somewhere, whether for birthdays, the love of the scent, or even as a decor accent. Candles are so commonplace that people forget just how dangerous they can be. Candles are not just sources of light, they are open flames. Every fire needs to be treated with caution, and candles are no different. That is why every member of every household should know and follow eight basic safety tips every time they light a candle.

How a Candle Works

Candles generate both light and heat through the simple process of combustion. One of the most important things to remember is that even though it is the wick that supports the flame, the wax is what burns. What happens is that when the wick is first lit, it melts the wax.. Because the wick is absorbent, it draws some of the molten wax up to the flame, where it vaporizes and then ignites. It is this burning wax vapor that produces most of the light and heat, reaching up to 2,550 degrees Fahrenheit at its hottest point. This is what makes a candle wick last so long. It simply carries the molten wax, serving as a kind of fuel line. Some of the molten wax does drip down the side, but that is more a measure of inefficiency than anything else. Once the wax is gone, the candle can no longer be used.

8 Candle Safety Tips

Candle safety is all about remembering that a candle is an open flame and treating it accordingly. As long as the candle is treated with the respect it deserves, problems are unlikely. If people in the home are going to be careless with candles, they are quite literally playing with fire. One simple way to ensure safety is to remember the following eight tips.

Tip 1: Always Use a Candle Snuffer

Some people like to blow a candle out, but this can send wax and possibly embers flying. Using water to put out a candle is even worse. The mixture of cold water and hot wax can send the wax splattering everywhere, possibly leading to burns. The cold water can also be dangerous to glass candle holders, as the sudden drop in temperature can cause the glass to crack, potentially spilling hot wax everywhere. A candle snufferstarves the flame of oxygen, ensuring that it goes out gently, without giving the wax a chance to spatter. It is the safest way to douse a candle without worrying about spatter or burning one's fingers on the wick.

Tip 2: Never Leave a Candle Unattended

It is a simple rule for anything that burns; fires should never be left unattended. This is particularly true of candles, as some can easily tip over, greatly increasing the chance of fire. The presence of pets just adds to the danger. Seconds matter when it comes to fire, and unattended fires mean that there is not one present to take action in the most important seconds. It simply is not worth the risk.

Tip 3: Do Not Rely on Candles When the Power Goes Out

It is a common misconception that because people often used candles for light before electricity they should be the first thing to turn to for light when the power goes out. Sadly, this is not the case. Candles were only one of many lighting options used before the proliferation of the electric light, and oil lamps were much more common. In most cases, a flashlight is a much better and safer option when the power is out than a candle. This is especially important when rummaging in a closet, as the flame can catch clothing on fire, turning the minor inconvenience of a power outage into a major disaster.

Tip 4: Always Use a Proper Candle Holder

It is a bad idea to simply stick a candle in a drop of hot wax in the middle of a plate or saucer instead of using a candle holder.. It simply is not safe. A proper candle holder includes both a socket to hold the candle and a well for the drippings. Many also have a ring or other handle in case the candle has to be moved. Candle holders should also be heat resistant so that they can protect the surfaces they rest on, such as tables that could otherwise be scorched from the heat of the candle or wax drippings. It is also important to make sure the holders are set on flat, stable surfaces to minimize the chance they will tip over.

Tip 5: Keep Burning Candles 3 Inches Apart

When arranging candles, it is important that they not be placed too close together to prevent the heat from one candle melting another. This can cause a serious problem because, even if the heat is not sufficient to melt the other candle completely, it can often be more than enough to soften the wax so that the candle can bend, with possibly disastrous results.

Tip 6: Do Not Burn a Candle Down to Nothing

For those who consider themselves frugal in all things, it can be tempting to get the most out of a candle by burning it all the way down to nothingness. While this does ensure the longest burn, that does not mean that it is a good idea. For safety's sake it is better to extinguish the candles once they reach about 2 inches from the bottom or 1/2 inch if the candle is entirely enclosed in a container. This ensures that the wick remains vertical and that the burn stays under control the whole time.

Tip 7: Never Use Candles if Someone in the Home Uses Oxygen

Fire thrives on oxygen, and using candles in a household where someone uses oxygen is courting disaster. The additional oxygen accelerates combustion and turns almost any spark into a runaway fire. While oxygen tanks are enclosed and can be kept far away from candle flames, it simply is not worth the risk to burn a candle anywhere in the vicinity of oxygen.

Tip 8: Keep Burning Candles Away From Drafts

While candles do require ventilation so that they do not exhaust the oxygen in the room, they should also be kept away from drafts in order to ensure a controlled burn. Strong drafts can not only lead to smoke and soot being produced by the candle but also fires if the draft is strong enough. With sufficient air movement, either the candle can be blown over or something light and combustible can be blown into it. Even if the draft is not strong enough for that, it can still lead to uneven burning that shortens the useful life of the candle.

Where to Buy Candles

Candles are available almost anywhere. Consumers who prefer to shop locally can find candles in hobby centers, corner stores, grocery stores, home stores, and major brick-and-mortar chains. People have been selling candles for centuries, and it should be no surprise that they have become ubiquitous. Those who prefer to shop from the comfort of home can find candles at most Internet retailers, major and many minor, as well as online auction sites like eBay.

Buying Candles on eBay

If you prefer to search, just enter the terms you want in the Search box on the main page, and watch the results appear. There really is a candle for every need, and you can use the filters in the sidebar on the results page to narrow your search to show just the candles you want. Once you have the list properly narrowed down, you can use the sort function to arrange order in which the listings are displayed to best fit your priorities, whether that be price or seller distance. The seller profile page is also a great resource to ensure you do business with a reputable individual. You can see the seller's feedback, location, and which shipping company they use. It only takes a few clicks to find both the candles and the seller you want.

Conclusion

Candles can add to the ambiance of any room, but they can also add to the danger. Users should never forget that every time they light a candle they are setting light to an open flame. Even so, the risk of that open flame can be greatly reduced by anyone willing to follow just a few simple tips. In almost every case, the key to these tips is to keep the candle flame under control and away from anything flammable. Keeping the candle vertical also helps, as it performs both functions, helping maintain a safe distance from anything flammable and combustion under control. Ventilation is also important, as both too much and too little airflow around the candle can cause problems. But by following these eight simple tips, it is easy to enjoy the ambiance in safety.

Dry Ice Blasting Mold Removal

2/17/2017 (Permalink)

Dry Ice Blasting Mold Removal

 

Dry ice blasting to is a relatively new technology that is fast becoming the method of choice to remove mold by environmentally concerned mold remediation specialists. Dry ice blasting effectively removes mold by blasting it with particles of dry ice fired under high pressure, in much the same way as a jet of water is shot from a pressure washer. The low temperature and high impact of the dry ice kills and removes mold without the need for scrubbing and sanding contaminated surfaces. Yet his method is 100% environmentally safe as it contains no chemicals or toxins, and emits no hazardous dust in the mold removal process.

 

Advantages: extremely effective, fast, non-toxic, no hazardous dust emissions, environmentally friendly, no scrubbing required, special nozzles allow access to hard to reach nooks and crannies.

 

Disadvantages: not cost effective for small areas

Efflorescence vs Mold

2/17/2017 (Permalink)

Efflorescence can look like a white mold. Moisture and dampness moving through basement concrete can cause spalling and degradation of the concrete. The signs of efflorescence and the white deposits are not mold. But the evidence of the efflorescence does indicate the presence of moisture.


 


Efflorescence is a crystalline deposit on surfaces of masonry, stucco or concrete. It is whitish in appearance, and is sometimes referred to as "whiskers". Efflorescence has been a problem for many years, and is a topic of much controversy. The formation of these salt deposits are not mysteries. Efflorescence is the white chalky powder that you might find on the surface of a concrete or brick wall. It can be a cosmetic issue, or it can be an indication of moisture intrusion that could lead to major structural and indoor air quality issues.

Efflorescence vs Mold

2/17/2017 (Permalink)

Efflorescence can look like a white mold. Moisture and dampness moving through basement concrete can cause spalling and degradation of the concrete. The signs of efflorescence and the white deposits are not mold. But the evidence of the efflorescence does indicate the presence of moisture.


 


Efflorescence is a crystalline deposit on surfaces of masonry, stucco or concrete. It is whitish in appearance, and is sometimes referred to as "whiskers". Efflorescence has been a problem for many years, and is a topic of much controversy. The formation of these salt deposits are not mysteries. Efflorescence is the white chalky powder that you might find on the surface of a concrete or brick wall. It can be a cosmetic issue, or it can be an indication of moisture intrusion that could lead to major structural and indoor air quality issues.

Fire Restoration in Nashua NH

2/2/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, Swampscott, Peabody Massachusetts was the restoration company that handled this large commercial loss in New Hampshire. The following is a clip from the local newspaper. 

 

Nashua, NH — Nashua firefighters extinguished a giant fire at a Bay Ridge apartment complex Sunday in extreme conditions as the heat index soared close to 100.

Two firefighters were hospitalized with heat exhaustion. They were expected to recover.

Dozens of residents were displaced.

The was fire caused by a propane grill, according to Deputy fire Chief Karl Gerhard. It broke out at about 5 p.m. and was declared under control by about 6 p.m.

"Although the fire heavily damaged the building, 50 percent of the building was saved due to a fire wall slowing fire spread, aggressive fire attack by all fire companies on scene ... and adequate staffing, which allows multiple tasks to be completed in a shorter time frame," Gerhard said in a statement. "All these elements combined provided the best outcome possible given the situation found upon arrival."

Temperatures soared into the high 90s Sunday as firefighters battled the blaze.

Scores of firefighters from Nashua and nine other communities, including across the border in Massachusetts, helped fight the fire.

The Red Cross offered assistance to those displaced.

"In this volatile time in society, the citizens of Nashua should take comfort in the fact that their Nashua area agencies will always prepare and provide our citizens help, and support, when they need it most," Gerhard added.

 

 

Prepare Your Business For A Winter Storm

2/2/2017 (Permalink)

When a winter storm hits, it can significantly interrupt if not suspend your business operations. Winter storms can bring freezing rain, ice, snow, high winds, or a combination of these conditions. They can cause power outages that last for days, make roads and walkways very dangerous, and affect community services. Preparing ahead of time can help you manage the impact a winter storm has on your business and the safety of your employees.

 

Knowing what to do when a winter storm and other disasters hit is the message of America’s PrepareAthon!, a nationwide grassroots campaign for action to increase community preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions, and exercises. The campaign offers easy-to-implement preparedness guides, checklists, and resources to help individuals, business owners, organizations and whole communities practice the simple, specific actions they can take to prepare for disasters.

 

According to the Insurance Information Institute, an estimated 25 percent of all businesses affected by a major disaster never reopen1. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to disasters. Unlike large companies, small businesses have less capital and fewer personnel available to resume operations and recover losses. It is vital to the continuity of a small business to have a disaster plan in place and be prepared, as it can make the difference between staying open or shutting down.

 

The most important asset to any business is its people. Businesses cannot recover from a disaster without their people, and people cannot recover without a job to return to. In order for employees to be able to focus on their work after a disaster, they need to be personally prepared for emergencies.

 

Encourage your employees to:

1. Sign up for local text alerts and warnings and download weather apps to their smartphone.

2. Gather important documents and keep them in a safe place.

3. Create an emergency supply kit.

4. Develop a family emergency communication plan.

5. Know the facts on how to prepare for a winter storm.

 

In addition to preparing your employees, it is crucial you know how to safeguard your facility and property. The Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery teamed up to develop “Prepare My Business”, www.preparemybusiness.org/, which offers planning tools to assist small business owners with preparing for various disasters. Some tips from the Winter Weather Preparedness Checklist include:

1. Check your insurance coverage for protection against winter hazards.

2. Collect the names and phone numbers of your heating contractor, plumber, fire department, insurance agent, and building owner and ensure they are easily accessible.

3. Determine what equipment needs to be protected from freeze-up, i.e. computers, telecommunications, manufacturing equipment, etc.

4. Have all employees, vendors, and client contact information on hand.

5. Arrange for snow removal from driveways, doorways, and roofs.

Prevent Warehouse Fires

2/2/2017 (Permalink)

Keep your warehouse safe with these simple tips

Warehouses are vital repositories for a business’ stock. They store most, if not all, of a business’ goods ready for sale or distribution.

Because they have such an important function—safeguarding the biggest source of a business’ income—warehouses can control a business’ fate. Any warehouse disaster, such as a fire, can have disastrous consequences, potentially shutting down the warehouse and forcing the entire business to cease operations.

Neglecting to shield your warehouse against fires means you could be sealing your business’ fate. As an owner, manager or warehouse operator, do not let all your hard work go up in smoke—adopt these simple measures to stamp out fires in your warehouse.

Fire Safety Legislation

The starting point for any successful workplace fire safety program is undertaking a risk assessment according to the fire safety legislation relevant for your area. Most risk assessments follow these five steps:

  1. Identify the fire hazards.
  2. Determine the people at risk.
  3. Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
  4. Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.
  5. Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.

Fire Safety Procedures

Using the information gleaned from your risk assessment, establish fire safety procedures that are tailored to your business’ fire risks. Train all employees in these procedures to ensure a unified response in the event of a fire. Institute an employee self-inspection program to maintain housekeeping standards and fire protection measures.

Fire Protection Tools

Assemble all the tools at your disposal to help fight warehouse fires. These include fire extinguishers, sprinklers and automatic fire detection systems. The number and type of fire extinguishers you require depends on the nature of your business. For Class A fire risks—fires involving solid materials such as wood, paper or textiles—the National Fire Protection Association recommends having one 2-A extinguisher for every 3,000 square feet. OSHA requires that all employees have access to an extinguisher within 75 feet of travel distance.

Locations that contain Class B flammables, such as workshops, storage areas, research operations, garages, warehouses or service and manufacturing areas, require that all employees have access to an extinguisher within 50 feet of travel distance.

But the tools you need for your warehouse depend on your business’ specific fire risks. Adopting a one-size-fits-all fire prevention program is inefficient and dangerous. Be sure to tailor your fire protection tools to the distinct fire risks you face.

Storage Arrangements

Failing to arrange clearly defined, adequate storage can intensify your fire risks for several reasons. Crowded aisles may block fire exits and make it harder for people to escape, cramped warehouses spread fire more easily, and storing hazardous materials such as flammable liquids with other warehouse stock greatly boosts the chances of a fire.

Arranging clearly defined, adequate storage is mostly common sense—keep electrical switchgear and heating equipment clear of storage, never let goods get within 18 inches of lighting, allow enough clearance between sprinkler heads and stored goods to make sure your sprinkler system can effectively douse the area, and segregate the hazardous and non-hazardous materials. Smart storage can greatly lower your fire risk.

Electrical Systems

Faulty electrical systems are hidden dangers. Make sure your warehouse’s electrical systems are correctly installed and maintained according to the relevant standards. Schedule a competent electrical contractor to inspect and test your electrical systems periodically so any defects can be fixed promptly. The longer you wait with faulty electrics, the bigger your fire risk grows.

Security Protection

Arson is one of the main causes of warehouse fires. Shield your business against this pervasive risk by installing internal and external security measures, such as security cameras and alarms, to deter trespassers and fortify your warehouse.

Smoking

To comply with smoke-free legislation, you must prohibit smoking throughout your premises. You could provide an external smoking shelter, neither completely nor substantially enclosed. Construct smoking shelters using only non-flammable materials. No flammable materials should be allowed within 20 feet of the shelter.

Space Heating

Warehouses, with their wide, open spaces, can be very cold and difficult to heat—and heating such spaces can be extremely expensive. For this reason, the temptation to rely on portable heating can be strong. Resist the urge, as portable heating carries a much higher fire risk than fixed heating systems. Your energy bills from a fixed heating system will pale in comparison to the amount you spend recovering from a warehouse fire caused by portable heating.

Waste Removal

Accumulating waste in your warehouse is a major fire risk. Employees should remove all waste materials at the end of every working day and transfer them to external receptacles located at least 30 feet from any buildings and at least 6 feet from your site’s boundary.

If your site does not permit this type of storage, secure your waste in lockable metal containers located at a practical distance from your building.

End-of-day Inspection

At the end of each working day, a responsible and trained employee should inspect every area of the warehouse and log the results. The inspector should be checking that accumulated waste materials were removed, that fire prevention and security systems are functioning and that any hazardous material or equipment has been isolated as required.

 

Mold In The Workplace

2/2/2017 (Permalink)


 



Introduction


This safety and health information bulletin provides recommendations for the prevention of mold growth and describes measures designed to protect the health of building occupants and workers involved in mold cleanup and prevention. This bulletin is directed primarily at building managers, custodians, and others responsible for building maintenance, but may also be used as a basic reference for those involved in mold remediation. By reading this safety and health information bulletin, individuals with little or no experience with mold remediation may be able to reasonably judge whether mold contamination can be managed in-house or whether outside assistance is required. The advice of a medical professional should always be sought if there are any emerging health issues. This document will help those responsible for building maintenance in the evaluation of remediation plans. Contractors and other professionals (e.g. industrial hygienists or other environmental health and safety professionals) who respond to mold and moisture situations in buildings, as well as members of the general public, also may find these guidelines helpful. The information in these guidelines is intended only as a summary of basic procedures and is not intended, nor should it be used, as a detailed guide to mold remediation. These guidelines are subject to change as more information regarding mold contamination and remediation becomes available.


Mold Basics


Molds are part of the natural environment. Molds are fungi that can be found anywhere - inside or outside - throughout the year. About 1,000 species of mold can be found in the United States, with more than 100,000 known species worldwide.


Outdoors, molds play an important role in nature by breaking down organic matter such as toppled trees, fallen leaves, and dead animals. We would not have food and medicines, like cheese and penicillin, without mold.


Indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Problems may arise when mold starts eating away at materials, affecting the look, smell, and possibly, with the respect to wood-framed buildings, affecting the structural integrity of the buildings.


Molds can grow on virtually any substance, as long as moisture or water, oxygen, and an organic source are present. Molds reproduce by creating tiny spores (viable seeds) that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores continually float through the indoor and outdoor air.


Molds are usually not a problem unless mold spores land on a damp spot and begin growing. They digest whatever they land on in order to survive. There are molds that grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods and insulation, while other molds feast on the everyday dust and dirt that gather in the moist regions of a building.


When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth often will occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains uncorrected. While it is impossible to eliminate all molds and mold spores, controlling moisture can control indoor mold growth.


All molds share the characteristic of being able to grow without sunlight; mold needs only a viable seed (spore), a nutrient source, moisture, and the right temperature to proliferate. This explains why mold infestation is often found in damp, dark, hidden spaces; light and air circulation dry areas out, making them less hospitable for mold.


Molds gradually damage building materials and furnishings. If left unchecked, mold can eventually cause structural damage to a wood framed building, weakening floors and walls as it feeds on moist wooden structural members. If you suspect that mold has damaged building integrity, consult a structural engineer or other professional with the appropriate expertise.


Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent excessive moisture in buildings. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices since the 1970s, which resulted in tightly sealed buildings with diminished ventilation, contributing to moisture vapor buildup. Other moisture problems may result from roof leaks, landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under a building, or unvented combustion appliance. Delayed or insufficient maintenance may contribute to moisture problems in buildings. Improper maintenance and design of building heating/ventilating/air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, such as insufficient cooling capacity for an air conditioning system, can result in elevated humidity levels in a building.


 


Prevention


Moisture control is the key to mold control. When water leaks or spills occur indoors - act promptly. Any initial water infiltration should be stopped and cleaned promptly. A prompt response (within 24-48 hours) and thorough clean- up, drying, and/or removal of water-damaged materials will prevent or limit mold growth.


Mold prevention tips include:



  • Repairing plumbing leaks and leaks in the building structure as soon as possible.

  • Looking for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture incursion problem(s) as soon as possible.

  • Preventing moisture from condensing by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in the air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in the air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).

  • Keeping HVAC drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.

  • Performing regularly scheduled building/ HVAC inspections and maintenance, including filter changes.

  • Maintaining indoor relative humidity below 70% (25 - 60%, if possible).

  • Venting moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.

  • Venting kitchens (cooking areas) and bathrooms according to local code requirements.

  • Cleaning and drying wet or damp spots as soon as possible, but no more than 48 hours after discovery.

  • Providing adequate drainage around buildings and sloping the ground away from building foundations. Follow all local building codes.

  • Pinpointing areas where leaks have occurred, identifying the causes, and taking preventive action to ensure that they do not reoccur.


Questions That May Assist in Determining Whether a Mold Problem Currently Exists



  • Are building materials or furnishings visibly moisture damaged?

  • Have building materials been wet more than 48 hours?

  • Are there existing moisture problems in the building?

  • Are building occupants reporting musty or moldy odors?

  • Has the building been recently remodeled or has the building use changed?

  • Has routine maintenance been delayed or the maintenance plan been altered?


Remediation Plan


Remediation includes both the identification and correction of the conditions that permit mold growth, as well as the steps to safely and effectively remove mold damaged materials.


Before planning the remediation assess the extent of the mold or moisture problem and the type of damaged materials. If you choose to hire outside assistance to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience with mold remediation. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA's publication, "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings," or other guidelines developed by professional or governmental organizations.


The remediation plan should include steps to permanently correct the water or moisture problem. The plan should cover the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). It also should include steps to carefully contain and remove moldy building materials in a manner that will prevent further contamination. Remediation plans may vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the job, and may require revision if circumstances change or new facts are discovered.


If you suspect that the HVAC system is contaminated with mold, or if mold is present near the intake to the system, contact the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), or consult EPA's guide, "Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?" before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold, as it could spread contamination throughout the building. If the water or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, consult a professional who has experience cleaning and repairing buildings damaged by contaminated water.


 


Mold Remediation/Cleanup Methods


The purpose of mold remediation is to correct the moisture problem and to remove moldy and contaminated materials to prevent human exposure and further damage to building materials and furnishings. Porous materials that are wet and have mold growing on them may have to be discarded because molds can infiltrate porous substances and grow on or fill in empty spaces or crevices. This mold can be difficult or impossible to remove completely.


As a general rule, simply killing the mold, for example, with biocide is not enough. The mold must be removed, since the chemicals and proteins, which can cause a reaction in humans, are present even in dead mold.


A variety of cleanup methods are available for remediating damage to building materials and furnishings caused by moisture control problems and mold growth. The specific method or group of methods used will depend on the type of material affected. Some methods that may be used include the following:


Wet Vacuum


Wet vacuums are vacuum cleaners designed to collect water. They can be used to remove water from floors, carpets, and hard surfaces where water has accumulated. They should not be used to vacuum porous materials, such as gypsum board. Wet vacuums should be used only on wet materials, as spores may be exhausted into the indoor environment if insufficient liquid is present. The tanks, hoses, and attachments of these vacuums should be thoroughly cleaned and dried after use since mold and mold spores may adhere to equipment surfaces.


Damp Wipe


Mold can generally be removed from nonporous surfaces by wiping or scrubbing with water and detergent. It is important to dry these surfaces quickly and thoroughly to discourage further mold growth. Instructions for cleaning surfaces, as listed on product labels, should always be read and followed.


HEPA Vacuum


HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuums are recommended for final cleanup of remediation areas after materials have been thoroughly dried and contaminated materials removed. HEPA vacuums also are recommended for cleanup of dust that may have settled on surfaces outside the remediation area. Care must be taken to assure that the filter is properly seated in the vacuum so that all the air passes through the filter. When changing the vacuum filter, remediators should wear respirators, appropriate personal protective clothing, gloves, and eye protection to prevent exposure to any captured mold and other contaminants. The filter and contents of the HEPA vacuum must be disposed of in impermeable bags or containers in such a way as to prevent release of the debris.


Disposal of Damaged Materials


Building materials and furnishings contaminated with mold growth that are not salvageable should be placed in sealed impermeable bags or closed containers while in the remediation area. These materials can usually be discarded as ordinary construction waste. It is important to package mold-contaminated materials in this fashion to minimize the dispersion of mold spores. Large items with heavy mold growth should be covered with polyethylene sheeting and sealed with duct tape before being removed from the remediation area. Some jobs may require the use of dust-tight chutes to move large quantities of debris to a dumpster strategically placed outside a window in the remediation area.


Use of Biocides


The use of a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, is not recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation, although there may be instances where professional judgment may indicate its use (for example, when immuno-compromised individuals are present). In most cases, it is not possible or desirable to sterilize an area, as a background level of mold spores comparable to the level in outside air will persist. However, the spores in the ambient air will not cause further problems if the moisture level in the building has been corrected.


Some biocides are considered pesticides, and some states require that only registered pesticide applicators apply these products in schools, commercial buildings, and homes. Make sure anyone applying a biocide is properly licensed where required.


Fungicides are commonly applied to outdoor plants, soil, and grains as a powder or spray. Examples of fungicides include hexachlorobenzene, organomercurials, pentachlorophenol, phthalimides, and dithiocarbamates.


Do not use fungicides developed for outdoor use in any indoor application, as they can be extremely toxic to animals and humans in an enclosed environment.


When you use biocides as a disinfectant or a pesticide, or as a fungicide, you should use appropriate PPE, including respirators. Always, read and follow product label precautions. It is a violation of Federal (EPA) law to use a biocide in any manner inconsistent with its label direction.


Mold Remediation Guidelines


This section presents remediation guidelines for building materials that have or are likely to have mold growth. The guidelines are designed to protect the health of cleanup personnel and other workers during remediation. These guidelines are based on the size of the area impacted by mold contamination. Please note that these are guidelines; some professionals may prefer other remediation methods, and certain circumstances may require different approaches or variations on the approaches described below. If possible, remediation activities should be scheduled during off-hours when building occupants are less likely to be affected.


Although the level of personal protection suggested in these guidelines is based on the total surface area contaminated and the potential for remediator or occupant exposure, professional judgment always should play a part in remediation decisions. These remediation guidelines are based on the size of the affected area to make it easier for remediators to select appropriate techniques, not on the basis of research showing there is a specific method appropriate at a certain number of square feet. The guidelines have been designed to help construct a remediation plan. The remediation manager should rely on professional judgment and experience to adapt the guidelines to particular situations. When in doubt, caution is advised. Consult an experienced mold remediator for more information.


Level I: Small Isolated Areas (10 sq. ft. or less) - e.g., ceiling tiles, small areas on walls.



  • Remediation can be conducted by the regular building maintenance staff as long as they are trained on proper clean-up methods, personal protection, and potential health hazards. This training can be performed as part of a program to comply with the requirements of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200).

  • Respiratory protection (e.g., N-95 disposable respirator) is recommended. Respirators must be used in accordance with the OSHA respiratory protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134). Gloves and eye protection should be worn.

  • Containment of the work area is not necessary. Dust suppression methods, such as misting (not soaking) surfaces prior to remediation, are recommended.

  • Contaminated materials that cannot be cleaned should be removed from the building in a sealed impermeable plastic bag. These materials may be disposed of as ordinary waste.

  • The work area and areas used by remediation workers for egress should be cleaned with a damp cloth or mop and a detergent solution.

  • All areas should be left dry and visibly free from contamination and debris.


Level II: Mid-Sized Isolated Areas (10 - 30 sq. ft.) - e.g., individual wallboard panels.



  • Remediation can be conducted by the regular building maintenance staff. Such persons should receive training on proper clean-up methods, personal protection, and potential health hazards. This training can be performed as part of a program to comply with the requirements of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200).

  • Respiratory protection (e.g., N-95 disposable respirator) is recommended. Respirators must be used in accordance with the OSHA respiratory protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134). Gloves and eye protection should be worn.

  • Surfaces in the work area that could become contaminated should be covered with a secured plastic sheet(s) before remediation to contain dust/debris and prevent further contamination.

  • Dust suppression methods, such as misting (not soaking) surfaces prior to remediation, are recommended.

  • Contaminated materials that cannot be cleaned should be removed from the building in a sealed impermeable plastic bag. These materials may be disposed of as ordinary waste.

  • The work area and areas used by remediation workers for egress should be HEPA vacuumed and cleaned with a damp cloth or mop and a detergent solution.

  • All areas should be left dry and visibly free from contamination and debris.


Level III: Large Isolated Areas (30 - 100 square feet) - e.g., several wallboard panels.


Industrial hygienists or other environmental health and safety professionals with experience performing microbial investigations and/or mold remediation should be consulted prior to remediation activities to provide oversight for the project.


The following procedures may be implemented depending upon the severity of the contamination:



  • It is recommended that personnel be trained in the handling of hazardous materials and equipped with respiratory protection (e.g., N-95 disposable respirator). Respirators must be used in accordance with the OSHA respiratory protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134). Gloves and eye protection should be worn.

  • Surfaces in the work area and areas directly adjacent that could become contaminated should be covered with a secured plastic sheet(s) before remediation to contain dust/ debris and prevent further contamination.

  • Seal ventilation ducts/grills in the work area and areas directly adjacent with plastic sheeting.

  • Dust suppression methods, such as misting (not soaking) surfaces prior to mediation, are recommended.

  • Contaminated materials that cannot be cleaned should be removed from the building in sealed impermeable plastic bags. These materials may be disposed of as ordinary waste.

  • The work area and surrounding areas should be HEPA vacuumed and cleaned with a damp cloth or mop and a detergent solution.

  • All areas should be left dry and visibly free from contamination and debris.


Note: If abatement procedures are expected to generate a lot of dust (e.g., abrasive cleaning of contaminated surfaces, demolition of plaster walls) or the visible concentration of the mold is heavy (blanket coverage as opposed to patchy), it is recommended that the remediation procedures for Level IV be followed.


 


Sampling for Mold


Is it necessary to sample for mold? In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Air sampling for mold may not be part of a routine assessment because decisions about appropriate remediation strategies often can be made on the basis of a visual inspection.


Your first step should be to inspect for any evidence of water damage and visible mold growth. Testing for mold is expensive, and there should be a clear reason for doing so. In many cases, it is not economically practical or useful to test for mold growth on surfaces or for airborne spores in the building. In addition, there are no standards for "acceptable" levels of mold in buildings, and the lack of a definitive correlation between exposure levels and health effects makes interpreting the data difficult, if not impossible.


Testing is usually done to compare the levels and types of mold spores found inside the building with those found outside of the building or for comparison with another location in the building. In addition, air sampling may provide tangible evidence supporting a hypothesis that investigators have formulated. For example, air sampling may show a higher concentration of the same species of mold when the HVAC is operating than when it has been turned off. This finding may convince the investigators that the mold is growing within, and being disseminated by, the HVAC system. Conversely, negative results may persuade investigators to abandon this hypothesis and to consider other sources of mold growth or dissemination. If you know you have a mold problem, it is more important to spend time and resources removing the mold and solving the moisture problem that causes the moldy conditions than to undertake extensive testing for the type and quantity of mold.


If you are in doubt about sampling, consult an industrial hygienist or other environmental health or safety professional with experience in microbial investigations to help you decide if sampling for mold is necessary or useful, and to identify persons who can conduct any necessary sampling. Due to the wide difference in individual susceptibility to mold contamination, sampling results sampling may have limited application. However, sampling results can be used as a guide to determine the extent of an infestation and the effectiveness of the cleanup. Their interpretation is best left to the industrial hygienist or other environmental health or safety professional.


Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals with specific experience in designing mold-sampling protocols, sampling methods for microbial contaminants, and interpretation of results. For additional information on air sampling, refer to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists' document, "Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control." In addition, sampling and analysis should follow any other methods recommended by either OSHA, NIOSH, EPA, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, or other recognized professional guidelines. Types of samples can include: air samples, surface samples, bulk samples, and water samples from condensate drain pans or cooling towers.


Microscopic identification of the spores/ colonies requires considerable expertise. These services are not routinely available from commercial laboratories. Documented quality control in the laboratories used for analysis of the bulk, surface, and other air samples is necessary. The American Industrial Hygiene Association offers accreditation to microbial laboratories (Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Accreditation Program (EMLAP)). Accredited laboratories must participate in quarterly proficiency testing (Environmental Microbiology Proficiency Analytical Testing Program (EMPAT)).


Remediation Equipment


There are various types of equipment useful in mold assessment and remediation. Some of the more common items include:


Moisture Meters


Moisture meters measure/monitor moisture levels in building materials, and may be helpful for measuring the moisture content in a variety of building materials following water damage. They also can be used to monitor the progress of drying damaged materials. These direct reading devices have a thin probe that is inserted into the material to be tested or pressed directly against the surface of the material. Moisture meters can be used on materials such as carpet, wallboard, wood, brick, and concrete.


Humidity Gauges or Meters


Humidity meters can be used to monitor indoor humidity. Inexpensive (less than $50) models that monitor both temperature and humidity are available.


Humidistat


A humidistat is a control device that can be connected to an HVAC system and adjusted so that if the humidity level rises above a set point, the HVAC system will automatically turn on and reduce the humidity below the established point.


Boroscope


A boroscope is a hand-held tool that allows users to see potential mold problems inside walls, ceiling plenums, crawl spaces, and other tight areas. It consists of a video camera on the end of a flexible "snake." No major drilling or cutting of dry wall is required.


HVAC System Filter


High-quality filters must be used in a HVAC system during remediation because conventional HVAC filters are typically not effective in filtering particles the size of mold spores. Consult an engineer for the appropriate filter efficiency for your specific HVAC system, and consider upgrading your filters if necessary. A filter with a minimum efficiency of 50 to 60% or a rating of MERV 8, as determined by Test Standard 52.2 of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, may be appropriate.


Remember to change filters as appropriate, especially following any remediation activities. Remove filters in a manner that minimizes the reentry of mold and other toxic substances into the workplace. Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary to wear appropriate PPE while performing this task.


How Do You Know When You Have Finished Remediation/Cleanup?



  • You must have identified and completely corrected the source of the water or moisture problem.

  • Mold removal should be complete. Visible mold, mold-damaged materials, and moldy odors should no longer be present.

  • Sampling, if conducted, should show that the level and types of mold and mold spores inside the building are similar to those found outside.

  • You should revisit the site(s) after remediation, and it should show no signs of moldy or musty odors, water damage, or mold growth.


Conclusion


After correcting water or moisture infiltration, the prompt removal of contaminated material and structural repair is the primary response to mold contamination in buildings. In all situations, the underlying cause of water accumulation must be rectified or the mold growth will reoccur. Emphasis should be placed on preventing contamination through proper building and HVAC system maintenance and prompt repair of water damaged areas.


Effective communication with building occupants is an essential component of all large-scale remediation efforts. The building owner, management, and/or employer should notify occupants in the affected area(s) of the presence of mold. Notification should include a description of the remedial measures to be taken and a timetable for completion. Group meetings held before and after remediation with full disclosure of plans and results can be an effective communication mechanism. 

After A Fire Checklist

2/2/2017 (Permalink)

After a Fire Checklist The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.



  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.

  • If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies. If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.

  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.

  • The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.

  • Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items. Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.

  • Try to locate valuable documents and records. Refer to information on contacts and the replacement process inside this brochure.

  • If you leave your home, contact the local police department to let them know the site will be unoccupied.

  • Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.

  • Notify your mortgage company of the fire.

  • Check with an accountant or the Internal Revenue Service about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss. Source: United States Fire Administration.

Stronger Storms in US

2/2/2017 (Permalink)

The effects of climate change will likely cause smaller but stronger storms in the United States, according to a new framework for modeling storm behavior developed at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. Though storm intensity is expected to increase over today's levels, the predicted reduction in storm size may alleviate some fears of widespread severe flooding in the future.

The new approach, published today in Journal of Climate, uses new statistical methods to identify and track storm features in both observational weather data and new high-resolution climate modeling simulations. When applied to one simulation of the future effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide, the framework helped clarify a common discrepancy in model forecasts of precipitation changes.

"Climate models all predict that storms will grow significantly more intense in the future, but that total precipitation will increase more mildly over what we see today," said senior author Elisabeth Moyer, associate professor of geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago and co-PI of the Center for Robust Decision-Making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP). "By developing new statistical methods that study the properties of individual rainstorms, we were able to detect changes in storm frequency, size, and duration that explain this mismatch."

While many concerns about the global impact of climate change focus on increased temperatures, shifts in precipitation patterns could also incur severe social, economic, and human costs. Increased droughts in some regions and increased flooding in others would dramatically affect world food and water supplies, as well as place extreme strain on infrastructure and government services.

Most climate models agree that high levels of atmospheric carbon will increase precipitation intensity, by an average of approximately 6 percent per degree temperature rise. These models also predict an increase in total precipitation; however, this growth is smaller, only 1 to 2 percent per degree temperature rise.

Understanding changes in storm behavior that might explain this gap have remained elusive. In the past, climate simulations were too coarse in resolution (100s of kilometers) to accurately capture individual rainstorms. More recently, high-resolution simulations have begun to approach weather-scale, but analytic approaches had not yet evolved to make use of that information and evaluated only aggregate shifts in precipitation patterns instead of individual storms.

To address this discrepancy, postdoctoral scholar Won Chang (now an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati) and co-authors Michael Stein, Jiali Wang, V. Rao Kotamarthi, and Moyer developed new methods to analyze rainstorms in observational data or high-resolution model projections. First, the team adapted morphological approaches from computational image analysis to develop new statistical algorithms for detecting and analyzing individual rainstorms over space and time. The researchers then analyzed results of new ultra-high-resolution (12 km) simulations of U.S. climate performed with the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) at Argonne National Laboratory.

Analyzing simulations of precipitation in the present (2002-2011) and future (years 2085-2094), the researchers detected changes in storm features that explained why the stronger storms predicted didn't increase overall rainfall as much as expected. Individual storms become smaller in terms of the land area covered, especially in the summer. (In winter, storms become smaller as well, but also less frequent and shorter.)

"It's an exciting time when climate models are starting to look more like weather models," Chang said. "We hope that these new methods become the standard for model evaluation going forward."

The team also found several important differences between model output and present-day weather. The model tended to predict storms that were both weaker and larger than those actually observed, and in winter, model-forecast storms were also fewer and longer than observations. Assessing these model "biases" is critical for making reliable forecasts of future storms.

"While our results apply to only one model simulation," Moyer said, "we do know that the amount-intensity discrepancy is driven by pretty basic physics. Rainstorms in every model, and in the real world, will adjust in some way to let intensity grow by more than total rainfall does. Most people would have guessed that storms would change in frequency, not in size. We now have the tools at hand to evaluate these results across models and to check them against real-world changes, as well as to evaluate the performance of the models themselves."

New precipitation forecasts that include these changes in storm characteristics will add important details that help assess future flood risk under climate change. These results suggest that concerns about higher-intensity storms causing severe floods may be tempered by reductions in storm size, and that the tools developed at UChicago and Argonne can help further clarify future risk.

 

 

Stronger Storms in US

2/2/2017 (Permalink)

The effects of climate change will likely cause smaller but stronger storms in the United States, according to a new framework for modeling storm behavior developed at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. Though storm intensity is expected to increase over today's levels, the predicted reduction in storm size may alleviate some fears of widespread severe flooding in the future.

The new approach, published today in Journal of Climate, uses new statistical methods to identify and track storm features in both observational weather data and new high-resolution climate modeling simulations. When applied to one simulation of the future effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide, the framework helped clarify a common discrepancy in model forecasts of precipitation changes.

"Climate models all predict that storms will grow significantly more intense in the future, but that total precipitation will increase more mildly over what we see today," said senior author Elisabeth Moyer, associate professor of geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago and co-PI of the Center for Robust Decision-Making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP). "By developing new statistical methods that study the properties of individual rainstorms, we were able to detect changes in storm frequency, size, and duration that explain this mismatch."

While many concerns about the global impact of climate change focus on increased temperatures, shifts in precipitation patterns could also incur severe social, economic, and human costs. Increased droughts in some regions and increased flooding in others would dramatically affect world food and water supplies, as well as place extreme strain on infrastructure and government services.

Most climate models agree that high levels of atmospheric carbon will increase precipitation intensity, by an average of approximately 6 percent per degree temperature rise. These models also predict an increase in total precipitation; however, this growth is smaller, only 1 to 2 percent per degree temperature rise.

Understanding changes in storm behavior that might explain this gap have remained elusive. In the past, climate simulations were too coarse in resolution (100s of kilometers) to accurately capture individual rainstorms. More recently, high-resolution simulations have begun to approach weather-scale, but analytic approaches had not yet evolved to make use of that information and evaluated only aggregate shifts in precipitation patterns instead of individual storms.

To address this discrepancy, postdoctoral scholar Won Chang (now an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati) and co-authors Michael Stein, Jiali Wang, V. Rao Kotamarthi, and Moyer developed new methods to analyze rainstorms in observational data or high-resolution model projections. First, the team adapted morphological approaches from computational image analysis to develop new statistical algorithms for detecting and analyzing individual rainstorms over space and time. The researchers then analyzed results of new ultra-high-resolution (12 km) simulations of U.S. climate performed with the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) at Argonne National Laboratory.

Analyzing simulations of precipitation in the present (2002-2011) and future (years 2085-2094), the researchers detected changes in storm features that explained why the stronger storms predicted didn't increase overall rainfall as much as expected. Individual storms become smaller in terms of the land area covered, especially in the summer. (In winter, storms become smaller as well, but also less frequent and shorter.)

"It's an exciting time when climate models are starting to look more like weather models," Chang said. "We hope that these new methods become the standard for model evaluation going forward."

The team also found several important differences between model output and present-day weather. The model tended to predict storms that were both weaker and larger than those actually observed, and in winter, model-forecast storms were also fewer and longer than observations. Assessing these model "biases" is critical for making reliable forecasts of future storms.

"While our results apply to only one model simulation," Moyer said, "we do know that the amount-intensity discrepancy is driven by pretty basic physics. Rainstorms in every model, and in the real world, will adjust in some way to let intensity grow by more than total rainfall does. Most people would have guessed that storms would change in frequency, not in size. We now have the tools at hand to evaluate these results across models and to check them against real-world changes, as well as to evaluate the performance of the models themselves."

New precipitation forecasts that include these changes in storm characteristics will add important details that help assess future flood risk under climate change. These results suggest that concerns about higher-intensity storms causing severe floods may be tempered by reductions in storm size, and that the tools developed at UChicago and Argonne can help further clarify future risk.

 

 

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

9/30/2016 (Permalink)

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties 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 Salem/Peabody/Marblehead

SERVPRO® of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead 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.

For Immediate Service call:

 SERVPRO® of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead

at 978-744-4545

Build An Emergency Supply Kit

9/19/2016 (Permalink)

Build An Emergency Supply Kit

September is National Preparedness Month and provides the perfect opportunity to review your emergency plan. Emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities just like yours, to people just like you. Tornado outbreaks, river floods, flash floods, historic earthquakes, and even water main breaks and power outages in U.S. cities affecting millions of people for days at a time.

Now is the time to think about the basics, things you will need in advance of an emergency; how you will communicate, what supplies you will need to keep in your home, car or office. Use the list provided here to build an emergency supply kit to ensure your family is equipped and ready for a any type of disaster.

  • Water, gallon per person per day
  • Food, non-perishable 3-day supply
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, if necessary
  • Local maps
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in waterproof container

SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead

978-744-4545

We are always here to help.

Labor Day September 5, 2016

9/1/2016 (Permalink)

LABOR DAY MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2016

The following information is from The U.S. Department of Commerce:

Labor Day 2016: Sept. 5

The first observance of Labor Day was likely on Sept. 5, 1882, when some 10,000 workers assembled in New York City for a parade. The parade inspired similar events across the country, and by 1894 more than half the states were observing a “workingmen’s holiday” on one day or another. Later that year, with Congress passing legislation and President Grover Cleveland signing the bill on June 29, the first Monday in September was designated “Labor Day.” This national holiday is a creation of the labor movement in the late 19th century and pays tribute to the social and economic achievements of American workers.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Who Are We Celebrating?

158.5 million
The number of people age 16 and over in the nation’s labor force as of May 2016.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Our Jobs

Largest Occupations May 2015 Number of employees
Retail salespeople 4,612,510
Cashiers 3,478,420
Combined food preparation and
serving workers, including fast food 3,216,460
Office clerks, general 2,944,420
Registered nurses 2,745,910
Customer service representatives 2,595,990
Waiters and waitresses 2,505,630
Laborers and freight, stock and
material movers, hand 2,487,680
Secretaries and administrative
assistants, except legal,
medical and executive 2,281,120
Janitors and cleaners,
except maids and housekeeping
cleaners 2,146,880

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupations with the Highest Employment, May 2015
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
16.4 million

The number of wage and salary workers age 16 and over represented by a union in 2015. This group included both union members (14.8 million) and workers who reported no union affiliation but whose jobs were covered by a union contract (1.6 million).
Among states, New York continued to have the highest union membership rate (24.7 percent), and South Carolina had the lowest rate (2.1 percent).

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
15.2 million

The number of employed female workers age 16 and over in service occupations in 2014. Among male workers age 16 and over, 11.8 million were employed in service-related occupations.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey, Table C24010
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.9%

The percentage increase in employment, or 141.9 million, in the U.S. between December 2014 and December 2015. In December 2015, the 342 U.S. counties with 75,000 or more jobs accounted for 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment and 77.8 percent of total wages. These 342 counties had a net job growth of 2.2 million over the year, which accounted for 81.4 percent of the overall U.S. employment increase.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Another Day, Another Dollar

$50,383 and $39,621

The 2014 real median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers, respectively. The 2014 real median household income of $53,657 is not statistically different in real terms from the 2013 median of $54,462.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
$74,297
The 2014 median Asian household income, the highest among race groups. The median income of non-Hispanic, white households was $60,256 and for black households it was $35,398. For Hispanic households the median income was $42,491.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fastest Growing Jobs

108.0%

The projected percentage growth from 2014 to 2024 in the number of wind turbine service technicians (4,400 jobs in 2014), the projected fastest-growing occupation. Meanwhile, the occupation expected to add the greatest number of positions over this period is personal care aides (458,100).

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Employee Benefits

88.8%

The percentage of full-time, year-round workers age 18 to 64 covered by health insurance during all or part of 2014.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Health Insurance Coverage in the United States
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Say Goodbye to Summer

Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.

25,214

The number of shoe stores for back-to-school shopping in 2014. Also catering to back-to-school needs were 28,138 family clothing stores; 7,898 department stores; 7,351 children and infants’ clothing stores; 6,823 office supply and stationery stores; and 6,888 book stores.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 County Business Patterns

21,830

The number of sporting goods stores nationwide in 2014. Examples of these types of stores include athletic uniform supply, fishing supply and exercise equipment, as well as bicycle and golf pro shops. In U.S. sports, college football teams usually play their first games the week before Labor Day, with the NFL traditionally playing its first game the Thursday following Labor Day.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 County Business Patterns, NAICS 451110

53,306

The number of travel agents employed full time, year-round in the U.S. in 2014. In addition, there were 15,875 tour and travel guides employed full time, year-round nationwide. On a weekend intended to give U.S. workers a day of rest, many people climb into their drivers’ seats or board an airplane for a quick end of the summer getaway.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau,

904,084

The number of paid employees (for the pay period including March 12) who worked for a gasoline station in the U.S. in 2014. Oregon (10,629 paid gasoline station employees) and New Jersey (17,411 paid gasoline station employees) are the only states without self-service gasoline stations. Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a holiday in February 1887.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Commute to Work

6.3 million

The number of commuters who left for work between midnight and 4:59 a.m. in 2014. They represented 4.5 percent of all commuters. The most common time was between 7 a.m. and 7:29 a.m. – with 20.6 million commuters.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

4.5%

The percentage of workers age 16 and over who worked at home in 2014.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

76.5%

The percentage of workers age 16 and over who drove alone to work in 2015. Another 9.2 percent carpooled and 0.6 percent biked to work.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

26.0 minutes

The average time it took workers in the U.S. to commute to work in 2014. New York (32.6 minutes) and Maryland (32.3 minutes) had the most time-consuming commutes.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office.

Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

8/19/2016 (Permalink)

Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including:

A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe

Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home

Storm sewer backup

Sanitary sewer backup

Foundation drainage failure

Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure

And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today – 978-744-4545

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week

We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies

We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About

Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques

We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards

Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead at 978-744-4545 to begin the restoration process as soon as possible. We are always here to help.

Faster to your Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, Water Damage Event

7/27/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 978-744-4545

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

·         Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.

·         Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.

·         Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.

·         Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

·         Drywall begins to swell and break down.

·         Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.

·         Furniture begins to swell and crack.

·         Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.

·         A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

·         Mold and mildew may grow and spread.

·         Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.

·         Metal begins to rust and corrode.

·         Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.

·         Paint begins to blister.

·         Wood flooring swells and warps.

·         Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

·         Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.

·         Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead

SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

Call SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, at 978-744-4545 to begin the restoration process as soon as possible. We are always here to help.

Hurricane Tips

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

Hurricane Tips

General Hurricane Tips

June to October is Hurricane Season. Below are some tips to follow whether you own a home, RV, boat, car, or all of them! You can see a storm coming by the change in color of the sky (often greenish), large hail, low-flying clouds, and a roar like a freight train.

HOME

It is best to have a plan in place regarding where you are going to go when a hurricane hits. While they may be intriguing to watch, the best place is NOT outside. Your basement or under a set of stairs are great places to wait out the storm. If this is not available, the bottom floor of any building will work.

CAR

Keep your car indoors if possible. Tape up the windows and door with tarps and keep away from any objects that could damage the car if they were to fall on top of it.

During an emergency, gas stations will often be closed, so always make sure you have at least half a tank of gas to get away instantly.

Have enough supplies on hand to wait out 72 hours, just in case help cannot arrive right away. These supplies can also be stored in the trunk (items like a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, and medication can stay there at all times.)

Make sure your car is in proper shape. Have a full tank of gas, wiper blades, and tires are ready to go.

Make sure your cell phone is charged and keep your charger with you.

Avoid driving in deep waters.

BOAT

For your boat, remove non-secure items, electronics, excess gear, valuable, and important documents.

Make sure all openings are clear of debris.

Double all lines that are securing your boat to its securing space.

RV

With your RV, do not drive it during the storm as it is more vulnerable to higher/stronger winds.

Make sure you have a full tank of gas, but empty holding tanks, turn off propane cylinders and cover the regulator.

Make sure all documents are in a waterproof bag and with you at all times.

Life can be unpredictable, but having plans in place help you with whatever may come.

As always, once the storm passes, contact:  SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead at 978-744-4545
to help make it “Like it never even happened.”®

www.SERVPROsalem.com

---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

We Specialize in Graffiti Cleanup and Restoration!

7/21/2016 (Permalink)

We Specialize in Graffiti Cleanup and Restoration!

Graffiti can be both an eyesore and an embarrassment. Fortunately, the professionals at SERVPRO of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead have a substantial amount of experience in graffiti removal. We know just what products to use on any type of surface and combine that with our HOT water pressure washers which will safely power wash and remove the graffiti without harming the surface which has been vandalized. Schools, buildings, parking garages, store fronts, fences, homes – whatever type of surface has been vandalized, we have the expertise to remove it quickly and safely.

Our Graffiti Services

Since each vandalism situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, chemicals, expertise, and experience to restore your property to its original condition.

Have Questions about vandalism or graffiti?  Call Us Today:

·       SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead at 978-744-4545

·       24 hours per day / 7 days per week

Types Of Smoke

7/18/2016 (Permalink)

Types of Smoke:

  •   Wet Smoke (caused by plastics & rubber)
    o   Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.  Usually produces smoke webs that are more difficult to clean.
  •   Dry Smoke (caused by paper & wood)
    o   Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore the smoke rises.
  •   Protein Fire Residue (produced by evaporation of material, such as animal fat, rather than from a fire)
    o   Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
  •    Fuel Oil Soot (furnace puff backs)
    o   A “puff back” is a misfiring in the furnace that can send soot throughout your home, covering drapes, bedding, furniture, cabinets, walls, and everything in between. While “puff backs” can create havoc for the homeowner, SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
  •    Other Types (tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue)

SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead professionals are trained to handle your toughest losses.

Before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call the smoke damage cleanup and restoration professionals:

 SERVPRO® of Salem, Peabody, Marblehead at 978-744-4545

 24 hours per day / 7 days per week

Mold is major problem in real estate. But Mold does not have to kill a transaction.

7/7/2016 (Permalink)

Mold is major problem in real estate. But Mold does not have to kill a transaction.

Here are 10 ways to save a deal and your hard earned commission when mold is involved in your transaction. These are 10 common scenarios our mold remediation company, SERVPRO Salem, Peabody Marblehead, sees regularly when working with real estate agents (buyers and sellers) on a daily basis.

Scenario 1: A few inches of mold is found in a small area of the home and your client is worried mold is everywhere.

No need to take a wrecking ball to the entire house when a little bit of mold is found!

Explain to your buyers or sellers that mold only grows where there is water or high relative humidity. If mold is identified around a single window where condensation is present, there is no need to start ripping out walls in other areas of the home that are dry. Focus on the area where the water and mold growth is occurring and remove the mold at its source (e.g. the drywall and wood trim around the window) and eliminating the water source (e.g. window condensation).

Once this is finished, there are other inexpensive, easy steps to take like scrubbing the air on all levels of the home with $100 HEPA air purifiers to remove the airborne mold spores. Again, you don’t need to take a sledgehammer to the rest of the house.

Close more deals by explaining to your buyers and sellers that in such a scenario the mold is confined to one small area and can sometimes be remediated by a “do-it-yourself” client with a few basic skills, or by a professional remediation company like SERVPRO for far cheaper than you would probably expect.

Scenario 2: Mold is disclosed in the listing agreement or later identified during an inspection and you and your client are unsure whether you need it tested.

If you already see mold, testing is almost always an unnecessary waste of money

It does not matter what type of mold you have – once identified, all mold should be treated the same way (i.e. in the manner we describe below in Scenario 8).

Testing can be useful in certain situations such as when someone identifies a moldy-like smell but cannot actually see mold anywhere. In this case, testing can help determine if the smell is indeed mold and the source of the presumed mold. Most of the time though the smell of mold will lead you right to a visible source of mold, making testing unnecessary.

But if you can already see visible mold, most of the time testing is a waste of time and money. This is a fact that most mold companies do not want you to know. But the reality is that testing is usually unnecessary in this scenario and will slow up the transaction. Further, the money allocated for testing could be used towards other things, like the remediation itself.

Close more deals by advising your clients that testing is almost never needed when mold is already visibly identified.

Scenario 3: Mold is identified and all parties involved are concerned about health effects and potential liability from mold.

Another fact most mold companies will not disclose: many health effects proclaimed to be caused by mold are not proven!

Hype and misinformation about mold and its impacts on our health flood the airwaves. Here’s the truth: What mold exposure does and does not do to the human body is a relatively new concern.

Sophisticated research is ongoing, and we will eventually know more about mold’s effect on health. The bottom line is that most of the severe adverse health effects associated with mold have not been proven, according to country’s leading medical authority, the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention. According to the CDC:

“A link between other adverse health effects, such as acute idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage among infants, memory loss, or lethargy, and molds, including the mold Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra), has not been proven. Further studies are needed to find out what causes acute idiopathic hemorrhage and other adverse health effects. ” (emphasis added)

We are not doctors so please consult a physician if you believe you or someone you know is experiencing health problems from mold exposure. And do not get us wrong – it is unhealthy to live in a moldy environment. But much of what you hear and read about mold
is often based on sensationalism and not backed by science.

Close more deals by giving your clients the truth about health effects from mold exposure.

Scenario 4: “Black Mold” is identified and your buyer or seller is concerned that the mold is toxic.

Not all molds are toxic despite what you may hear or read.

Mold comes in a variety of colors. The dreaded “Black Mold” you have heard about so often in the media is not a species or specific type of mold.

Media reports of “Black Mold” often refer to molds that can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), such as groups of molds known as Stachybotrys. Note that mycotoxins will not always be produced when these types of mold are present. To put it another way, the presence of mold does not necessarily mean mycotoxins are present.

Much of what we know about mycotoxins is not well understood yet and ongoing research is needed. According to the EPA though, certain types of mycotoxins produced by the molds Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus are shown to cause cancer. However, the EPA goes on further to say that “Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus are not commonly found on building materials or in indoor environments.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also states: “There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.”

Close more deals by revealing the truth to your clients about “Black Mold” and toxic molds.

Scenario 5: Mold is disclosed or identified and you are not sure what to tell your seller or buyer.

Everything in this email is useful information to provide your buyer or
seller to give them peace of mind.

But one of the first things you may want to tell them is: Not all molds are bad!

Explain to your buyer or seller that mold is everywhere – in our homes, in our offices and in the fresh air we breathe outside.

Explain to them that many of the media reports on mold are over hyped and that mold is in fact a natural organism that most of the time makes life better. Mold improves our lives by breaking down dead leaves and trees, helping to make certain types of cheeses, and by being the basis of modern antibiotics like Penicillin.

Despite these useful purposes, too much mold in a home can pose a health risk. How much is too much? Currently, there are no federal guidelines that define exactly how much mold is unhealthy. This useful fact is very important for your client to understand.

Even though no federal standards currently exist, generally speaking, you should not be able to see actual mold growth or smell it. If you can, your home probably has too much mold and can be unhealthy.

Although mold can be hidden, such as on the backside of drywall, don’t worry. You can usually detect it through sight or smell.

Close more deals by educating your clients that it is impossible to find a completely mold free home because mold is in every home and serves many useful purposes in our environment. Educate them further that despite these facts about mold, you should not be able to see or smell mold in a home and if you can, the home has elevated amounts of mold.

Scenario 6: Mold is disclosed or identified but you are not sure whether you need to hire a professional to remove it.

In many cases minor mold problems (less than about 10 square feet of mold) can easily be handled by the home owner with a free weekend afternoon and a few basic supplies from the hardware store. For more info, see our article: “Do I need a Mold Professional?”

If your client prefers to hire a professional instead, mold remediation – when done by a professional and ethical company – should not be expensive for minor problems.

Close more deals by advising your clients that minor mold problems should never be costly to fix and can often be done by the “Do It Yourselfers” in one day.

Scenario 7: Your client is on a tight deadline to close and you are worried there is not enough time to remove the mold prior to the closing date.

No need to worry as most of the time, mold can be removed in a few days by a professional company and should not stretch out the time it takes to close the deal.

Close more deals by giving everyone peace of mind that mold remediation can usually be within 1-3 days.

Scenario 8: There is an extensive mold problem and a professional mold remediation company is needed to remove the mold before
the deal can close.

If a mold remediation company is needed, protect yourself from dishonest contractors by remembering one undeniable fact: Mold Remediation Is Not Rocket Science!

Do not let a mold removal company tell you otherwise in an attempt to justify their outrageous estimate. There are essentially just two basic steps involved in mold remediation: Containment (e.g. using poly sheeting to prevent cross contamination) and Contamination Removal (e.g. safely removing moldy drywall, scrubbing/sanding 2x4s, removing airborne mold spores with HEPA air scrubbers, etc.)

We are oversimplifying a bit. There are other considerations involved like safety protocols (e.g. wearing respirators, gloves, etc when needed), initial assessment, post remediation assessment, etc.

But be wary of any company or individual who implies that mold removal is as complex as open heart surgery. Knowledge is power. Once you understand that mold remediation is not complicated, you are an empowered Realtor. If you represent the seller, you can advise him or her to say, “Thanks, but no thanks,” when someone tries to tell them that a bedroom closet with a little bit of ceiling mold is going to cost $10,000 to remediated. We have seen such outrageous bids before by other companies!

There are plenty of honest mold removal companies too. Just do your homework, get multiple bids and educate yourself on the procedures needed to remove mold.

Close more deals by helping your clients find reputable mold remediation companies that won’t rip them off or give them a price for remediation that is so high it kills the deal.

Scenario 9: Unexpected mold is found in an attic or crawlspace during an inspection.

In real estate transactions, the discovery of mold in an attic or crawl space by an inspector often comes as an unexpected surprise to the parties involved. But mold in attics and crawl spaces do not need to kill a transaction.

Don’t kid yourself. Mold in these places needs to be remediated. In extreme cases, it can be a sign of bigger issues such as foundation problems or roof deficiencies. But a buyer who falls in love with a house should not necessarily be shocked if mold is found in an attic or crawl space by an inspector.

These two areas of the home are ripe for mold infestation – we have read some studies that indicate as much as 60% of all crawl spaces have mold.

But often attic and crawl space mold goes undetected by the homeowner because these are not places most of us spend much time in.

Close more deals by educating your clients that unexpected attic and crawl space mold is common but that the buyer can still live safely without worry if the remediation is done properly. Or if you represent the seller, attic and crawlspace mold can be removed and fixed like any other part of the house by a professional mold remediation company.

Scenario 10: Mold problems indicate water problems since mold can only grow where water is present.

This is less of a “scenario” but more of an important fact to keep in mind about mold whether you are representing the buyer or the seller.

Help your client understand that the presences of mold can be seen as a good thing – i.e. it alerts the buyer/seller of a bigger water issue and helps prevents the parties involved from being “caught off guard” after the closing.

And remember that water problems can not only trigger mold growth but can also damage building materials and reduce the longevity of the home.

Close more deals by reminding clients that although mold is undesired, it can be useful in helping to identify a potentially bigger water issue.

Does Your Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, Swampscott, or Middleton Home Have A Mold Problem?

4/27/2016 (Permalink)

In Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, Swampscott, or Middleton, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

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 – 978-744-4545

Water Damage: The Need for Speed!

3/17/2016 (Permalink)

Water damage can be caused by many things: sewer line and toilet backups, sump pump and water heater failures, broken pipes, washing machine and dishwasher leaks, ice maker problems, flooding due to heavy rain, ground water seeping into the basement and natural disasters.

But it doesn’t take a lot of water to cause tremendous damage. Just an inch or two can destroy carpets and dry wall, warp wood floors, damage building components, and trash home furnishings and personal items, including photo albums and family heirlooms.

Even after the water seems to disappear, excess moisture can hide in your floor coverings, foundation, wood structures and walls—causing major damage to your property and creating the perfect environment for mold and other fungi growth.

But if you catch it in time, you can ward off a lot of the damage and save money and headaches down the road. It’s important that water is quickly removed and the property dried, ventilated and disinfected to inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew and other microorganisms that are harmful.

The key is having the phone number for a SERVPRO Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, Swampscott, Middleton, Beverly, Gloucester, Essex, Manchester and water restoration team you trust ahead of time, so you can take care of the problem quickly. Here are a few things to look for before choosing a water restoration company:

  • A well-trained and knowledgeable team. Each technician should have received an Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and perform water restoration services in compliance with the IICRC S500 standards for professional water damage restoration.
  • State-of-the-art equipment/techniques. Ask the company if it uses efficient dehumidifying units and air movers to eliminate moisture and prevent secondary damage to furniture, walls and flooring, as well as extraction processes with both suction and compression, which bring water to the surface and suctioning it away, so it cannot be re-absorbed into the carpet or pad.
  • Vehicles should be fully equipped with state-of-the art extraction, drying and moisture testing equipment for all types of water problems.
  • Professionals should work directly with your insurance carrier so you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
  • They should be available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, including holidays.

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