Recent Commercial Posts

The SERVPRO Large Loss Division at Work

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

containment with vented filter window We're Faster To Any Size Disaster for water damage recovery from Boston to Peabody

We Are Here to Help

After a devastating infiltration of groundwater, a biomedical facility in the Boston area suffered substantial water damages. When a second water damage emergency occurred after our SERVPRO team arrived, we acted fast with extraction strategies to protect the building, healthcare workers, and patients.

Managing Microbial Concerns

Microbial threats were a concern that our team could not allow to spread. Full containment barriers were constructed to regulate moisture quickly. In addition, these zones were protected by hundreds of air scrubbers placed to trap migrating mold spores. The barriers also vented through filters to prevent microbial circulation.

Efficient Drying for Large Facilities

Within these containment zones, sensitive instrumentation of the facility was protected from water damage by directly covering the units or regulating airflow and humidity in the contained areas. Drying the building was a substantial task, requiring hundreds of units. Some of the key elements benefiting the fast recovery of the facility were: 

• Trailered desiccant dehumidifiers

• Centrifugal air movers

• Axial air fans

• HEPA 500 air scrubbers

Our SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody Marblehead team is here to help when flooding and water damage threaten your business. Call today at (978) 744-4545. 

What is the Best Way to Deep Clean a Salem Business Property?

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo Commercial damage restoration services by SERVPRO use CDC recommended supplies. We have the manpower and equipment for every disaster.

SERVPRO Technicians Have the Professional Equipment and Experience to Clean and Sanitize Salem Properties

Most commercial properties in Salem have a janitorial crew or cleaning service they rely on to keep the dust, dirt, and grime away. All properties with daily foot traffic should undergo a routine deep cleaning regularly.

When SERVPRO handles commercial cleaning in a Salem commercial property, the technicians can choose from 100 SERVPRO-exclusive cleaning agents, including solutions that meet the CDC-recommended hospital-grade cleaners to target pathogenic and bacterial elements that may be present.

High traffic areas, particularly carpeted hallways or entryways, can suffer from matted-down fibers and dirt that regular vacuuming cannot sufficiently clean. The use of wet shampoos can leave behind residues that attract and collect other dust and dirt. SERVPRO technicians use steam cleaners to deliver a sanitizing clean to carpet fibers that leave behind no residues.

High-touch areas need to get wiped down frequently to avoid spreading cold, flu, and other issues in a common area. SERVPRO uses sanitizing cleaning agents on high touch surfaces such as: 

  • Doorknobs
  • Countertops
  • Light switches
  • Handles
  • Phones
  • Keyboards

Bathrooms are another area of focus. High traffic areas such as those found at Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Salem Hospital are visibly clean. Still, they require a regular sanitizing level of cleaning to ensure the health and safety of people using the facilities. The standard janitorial crew usually wipes down mirrors, sinks, and toilets; however, bacteria and surface contaminants get left behind. SERVPRO technicians use their cleaners and equipment to give the bathrooms used by employees and the public a sanitizing clean from floor to ceiling, including areas like soap dispensers, faucets, and handles.

SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead at (978) 744-4545 handles commercial cleaning for Salem properties with the utmost professional care and detailing, and the services are available 24/7. CERTIFIED SERVPRO CLEANED.

What Unexpected Issues Lead to Water Damage in Salem Condos?

9/10/2021 (Permalink)

water stains and damage on ceiling A leak in the condo above can damage your unit. SERVPRO is trained and equipped to locate hidden moisture sources.

SERVPRO Probes Early Signs of Water Leaks to Prevent Costly Water Damage Repairs

Water intrusion in a condo can be extremely inconvenient and costly to address. Apart from the obvious issues such as some owners being away when the water spill happens and thus causing unnecessary damages, other obstacles also precipitate damage in Salem condos.

Water damage incidents in Salem condos can occur regularly because of the numerous plumbing connections that combine to form the single system that serves the entire premises. Sometimes the component that fails may be hidden out of sight, and if there is no sudden water released, the leak can cause severe degradation of materials before discovery. SERVPRO can help locate and address the issue if other signs of water leaks, such as low water pressure, dark spots, or high water bills, are noticed.

Responding to hidden water damage may require various processes, including:

  • Ceiling repairs from water damages
  • Water cleanup
  • Water damage remediation

Identifying hidden water leaks is easier with superior equipment such as thermal cameras, which help trace wetness in concealed areas. Thermo-hygrometers are also helpful in checking for differences in humidity levels in different sections of a building. After pinpointing the problem area, our SERVPRO technicians can perform controlled demolition, removing the deteriorated materials.  

Other issues that might lead to water damage include:

  • Combining emerging technologies with the old ones when repairing the plumbing system
  • Doing inconclusive water removal
  • Failure to weatherproof the building

SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead helps manage any aspect of water damage, “Like it never even happened.” Call us at (978) 744-4545 for timely assistance

How Rapidly Should Mold Remediation Start After Noticing Early Signs in My Salem Library?

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

close-up of stacked books and laptop on table in library Books and libraries provide ideal environments for mold growth.

SERVPRO Expedites Mold Removal from Affected Properties to Limit the Long Term Impact of Such Growth

Mold development in a library can be critical since it might affect structural materials and the expensive or rare books you have in the facility, driving up the restoration cost. Timely mold remediation can help prevent such adverse outcomes.

Mold remediation in your Salem library can take different forms depending on the affected areas and the level of infestation. For instance, taking protective measures can help prevent the infestation from spreading beyond areas already affected. Our SERVPRO teams can help protect contents or some sections of your property by setting up physical barriers, controlling moisture, or even packing out vulnerable items.

Mold remediation takes several processes, including:

  • Mold inspection
  • Mold removal
  • Black mold damage repairs

On carrying out inspection, our SERVPRO technicians establish how far the mold colonies spread throughout the property. The analysis also helps reveal the likely source of the problem, such as hidden leaks or improperly addressed water intrusions. Locating the source ensures that the protective measures taken have the intended impact. For instance, a pack-out cannot be effective if it relocates books to a room with high humidity levels.

Mold exhibits various signs, including the appearance of dark patches on contents and structural materials. A musty smell is also common even when mold is hidden. Remediation should start promptly on noticing any of these signs.

When growth is restricted to a section within the library, our SERVPRO technicians can clean surfaces with antimicrobials or perform controlled demolition to remove moldy materials. We can remove the materials at any time since we first erect containment barriers with plastic sheets and establish negative air pressure within the chamber to prevent the spread of debris to other sections of the library.

SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead provides timely mold remediation to save businesses from closure or high renovation costs. Call us at (978) 744-4545. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.

What Cleaning Products Are Used When Fire Strikes in Salem?

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO call now Call SERVPRO after you experience a fire incident, we have training in fire & smoke restoration, odor control, upholstery & fabric cleaning.

SERVPRO Uses Professional Cleaning Agents to Batter Fire Damage in Salem

Understanding the type of smoke residue and the material involved is crucial in determining the proper cleaning agent. SERVPRO uses professional cleaning products designed to be tough on soot.

Content Cleaning Products

When fire damage strikes a Salem business, it can shut down the business quickly. Business owners are not always responsible for the structure, but they need to salvage what content they can. SERVPRO uses top-of-the-line cleaning products to remove smoke residue. These include:

  •   Dry Cleaning Solvent – This is a petroleum-based product used in the Ultimate Dry Cleaning Machine. Drapes, curtains, and fabrics that have light soiling are typically what this product gets used on.
  •   Volatile Dry Solvents – This cleaning agent works well as a spotting agent. It evaporates quickly and leaves no residue. Excellent as a smoke residue remover. 
  •   Wood Oil Soaps – A mild detergent that is gentle on surfaces. Used for cleaning light soot on wood surfaces.
  •   Furniture Polishes – All-purpose wax polishes used on wood furniture. Cleans, polishes, and adds a protective coating of wax. 
  •   Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners – SERVPRO uses several shampoos, pretreatments, and fabric rinse to clean carpeting and upholstered items.

Getting You Back in Business

SERVPRO specializes in fire damage restoration that is thorough. We work hard to get your business operating again as quickly as possible. Services we offer include:

  • Smoke remediation
  • Fire and smoke damage restoration and cleanup
  • Water and fire damage restoration
  • Smoke damage services

 Contact SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead at (978) 744-4545  for more information.

What Are Efficient Mold Management Techniques for Salem Medical Facilities?

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

Outside view of hospital SERVPRO can safely remediate mold from medical facilities. Call us today.

Salem Hospitals Contending with Microbial Growth Require Immediate Attention from SERVPRO Remediators

There is no time to waste when mold gets discovered in an area hospital or clinic. Mold organisms can agitate health conditions or create hazardous environments, making a prompt response by our SERVPRO team vital in restoring and remediating the loss.

How Can SERVPRO Clean Up After Mold Damage?

The less upheaval and disarray after mold damage to Salem medical facilities, the better. We work to provide these structures with suitable surface cleaning solutions to remove active mold colonization. Fungi and mold colonies can multiply and grow fast, making these remediation solutions crucial to begin immediately. Some solutions include:

  • Surface cleaning
  • Biocides EPA approved
  • Sanding
  • Media blasting
  • Controlled demolition

Are Black Mold Odors a Threat for Medical Facilities? 

While odors might not be a direct health hazard for those exposed, they can provide an unsavory condition for patients and staff working in the facility. Addressing harsh, musty smells fast can be critical in restoring the clean and sanitary conditions expected of a reputable medical building. Our SERVPRO professionals have multiple strategies to help, including portable deodorizers, air scrubbers outfitted with HEPA and charcoal filtration, and stationary tools like hydroxyl machines.

We strive to achieve CERTIFIED SERVPRO CLEANED for commercial buildings, especially ones engaged in health care. Typically, the responsible party will can in an Industrial Hygienist to take air and surface samples. Once it is cleared of mold, we can leave, and not a moment before.

Because of how critical clean and safe work environments are for medical facilities, many trust our SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead team to provide these results. We have experience and industry-leading equipment, so mold loss is “Like it never even happened.” Call us at (978) 744-4545.

Hiring Mold Removal Companies For Localized Infestations In Salem Properties

5/24/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on Ceiling in Close up SERVPRO is Here to Help if mold damages your business.

SERVPRO Helps with Black Mold Damage Repairs of Any Kind in Salem Businesses

In most cases, mold tends to develop and cover vast property sections, such as walls and ceilings. However, sometimes the problem can be localized to a small area. Localized infestations might also remain hidden longer, thus worsening the outcome.

Even when dealing with a localized infestation, help from Salem mold removal companies is essential to guarantee faster turnaround and better outcomes. Our SERVPRO technicians first establish the possible moisture sources in the affected area and address them. 

How Do Mold Removal Companies Like SERVPRO Assist When Mold is Localized?

Mold colonies left untouched over extended periods tend to leave an unsightly mess of black spots and discolored patches. Mold also eats into organic materials compromising their structural integrity. Our SERVPRO technicians evaluate materials in the surrounding areas to determine where removal is necessary or if cleaning can do the job. For a localized infestation, we perform controlled demolition removing only the affected materials, then use various cleaning approaches, including HEPA vacuuming and damp wiping. We can help you when you need:

  • Mold remediation
  • Mold specialists
  • Mold Inspection

SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead is one of the reliable mold removal companies that can help your business. Call us at (978) 744-4545.

SERVPRO Helps Salem Businesses Prepare for Water Damage

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO restoration equipment being used in water damaged room Salem is no stranger to storm damage. Should your home experience a loss event, SERVPRO is on call for restoration.

Preparation is Key in Water Damage Situations 

If you are a business owner, you do not want to have your business closed for any length of time if you can avoid it. A closed business means no customers and no profits. 

Preparation is essential to avoid lengthy closures after water damage to your Salem business. Thankfully SERVPRO makes it easy to prepare with an Emergency READY Profile (ERP). 

Your ERP is an electronic document that contains vital information:

  • Facility details such as remises layout, assembly points, and water shut off locations.
  • The chain of command and who to call in an emergency.
  • A step-by-step plan to get back on your feet following water damage.

You can also use your ERP to authorize your chosen SERVPRO franchise as your emergency remediation team, making it quicker to get in touch and begin the remediation process. 

It is free to download the app and set up your ERP, which means you get a high-value profile at no extra cost to your business. 

To get started with your water damage plan, call SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead at (978) 744-4545.

What Are the Primary Tourist Attractions for Salem?

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

A map of Salem SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead cares about their community, and is here to assist for any destruction.

History in Salem is Well Known for Their Fascinating History and Building Structures

Salem has become one of Massachusetts's most renowned towns between the history and steady growth of the area. Tourism is one of our economy's driving forces, despite how busy teams like our SERVPRO professionals might stay with severe weather damages or water disaster cleanup. Much like the caretakers of landmarks and historic properties, the upkeep of tourist attractions ensures that the area continues to grow and thrive as it has almost consistently done every decade since censuses recorded these statistics in the mid-1700s.

Historical Properties 

The town of Salem has been one of the most recognizable places in American history for its sordid past concerning the treatment of suspected witches in the 17th century. How the public would handle these allegations and persecute these women would be a permanent black mark on the entire commonwealth of Massachusetts – in some ways even to this day. Preserving and protecting historic landmarks, artifacts, and stories has been a mission of historians and municipal workers of the city, helping to designate protected areas and upkeep treasured properties and structures.

Historic properties in Salem range from former schoolhouses, municipal structures, homes, and churches. While there are notable buildings in nearly every neighborhood of the city, there are two primary districts that hold the most recognizable of these protected areas, homes and businesses. Charter Street Historic District contains the Charter Street Cemetery, the Grimshawe House, and the Pickman House. The Federal Street District protects aging homes constructed between 1810 and 1900 and a courthouse building from 1785.

House of Seven Gables 

This is a home that was made famous for its original design by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The structure was built in 1668 for Captain John Turner, and it would continue to be in excellent enough shape to inspire Hawthorne's writing for an 1851 release. Today, you can visit the house as a guest because the building has become a non-profit museum. Paid tours are available, as well as specific programs for children.

Pioneer Village

This is one of the few living history museums available in the country and can showcase what life might have looked like in June of 1630 in Salem. Initially, this was a set for a play that was being developed for performances in 1930. However, the town loved the accuracy and appeal of the creation so much that it was saved and continues to be a strong account of pioneer days in what would be one of the most significant port towns in the New World. A short time in the presence of these recreated structures can give anyone an appreciation for modern advancements.

Salem Willows Park 

Despite how long Salem has existed as a settlement and town in Massachusetts, the region's expansion and industrial growth have not compromised the scenic allure of Essex County. While there are many parks and reserves throughout New England and across the North Shore area, Salem Willows Park is one of the town's most attractive natural areas. Founded in 1838, this oceanfront park has captured the hearts of visitors and locals alike with long-standing implements like Kiddieland amusement park, a boardwalk with shops and arcades, and beachfront. In the summer, the beaches of Salem Willows Park are popular for fireworks, as you can see Beverly, Marblehead, and Salem run their displays.

Peabody Essex Museum 

Several years ago, more cultural and historical centers spread out through town, including the renowned Essex Institute and the Peabody Museum of Salem. Combining both of these centers' collections has proved to be a beneficial decision, as the new Peabody Essex Museum ranks among the top art museums in the country. The latest advancement campaign adds square footage for the gallery and endowment and operating budget to be among the top 10 galleries in North America. In total, the Peabody Essex Museum boasts over 840,000 historical and cultural art pieces and more than 400,000 books and manuscripts.

Salem State University 

Colleges and universities are always a draw to the area, as not only does this increase the population by thousands when school is in session, but it also increases the number of shops, specialty stores, and annual events like fairs and festivals. The student body of Salem State University adds nearly 8,000 to Salem's population in the fall and spring months, and having been constructed and founded in 1854, is as historic as many other buildings in town. While the college is a draw for traffic into Salem, art and live entertainment events hosted by the institution showcase local talents and the expertise of craft makers, musicians, painters, and other budding artists.

Efficient Water Extraction Solutions for Salem Homes 

Flooding and substantial water loss incidents can leave standing water in Salem homes, which can quickly become a compromising situation for exposed materials and contents. Emergency services seek to overcome these obstacles as soon as possible. That is why our SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead team has leading extraction tools stocked and ready to mobilize at the first notice of loss.

Not every extractor is ideal for every disaster, however. Understanding what your property needs is the objective of the project manager and crew chief working with the customer to establish a restoration plan that addresses current conditions and the common concerns moving forward. Standing water is detrimental to porous flooring, wood trim, and drywall used as the wall surface material in your home. Once saturation occurs, moisture removal can be much more challenging than eliminating surface water.

For hard floor surfaces, several removal tools often excel at a much greater rate than alternatives in our inventory. Submersible pumps, both electric and gas-powered, can remove surface water concerns down to a depth of two inches. At this point, wet vacuums and separate attachments can remove the lingering pooling in the damaged areas. Specialty removal tools like weighted extractors and carpet wands can help to reduce moisture reaching sensitive subflooring materials.

Water removal for Salem homes can happen quickly after disasters strike. Give our SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead team a call today at (978) 744-4545

When Peabody Residents Need a Laugh

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

A stand up comedy sign. We all need a good laugh, go out and enjoy a good laugh at Boston on Condor Street.

Experience a fun stand-up comedy event in nearby Boston on Condor Street. 

Who doesn’t need a laugh with all the crazy happening in the world? The Sundown Stand-Up Comedy series continues to go strong at the Condor Street Urban Wild. As this is an ongoing event happening at each full moon point in the cycle, the next chance to see live stand-up comedians in this outdoor setting is November 29th, 2020, beginning at 4:00 PM.

Ensure that you dress appropriately for the weather expected, including wearing the mandated masks and maintaining your distance. Whether you are a comedian looking to try out some jokes on a kind audience or you want to be part of hearing local talent, you can RSVP for one of the limited slots online or by calling the organizer Like2Laugh Productions at (914) 629-1225.

The need for mold remediation in Peabody businesses is no laughing matter. Let our SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead team help you make microbial threats “Like it never even happened,” by calling (978) 744-4545.

What are Mold Remediation Standards and Why are They Important for Salem Local Businesses?

10/25/2020 (Permalink)

man looking at mold on a wall Don’t panic when noticing a mold infestation in your home or business. Contact our IICRC certified team for mold remediation services.

Salem Companies Need Knowledgeable Mold Remediation Companies

Entrepreneurs in the Salem area know the importance of standards and guidelines. From quality control guidelines to the employees’ handbook, standards help your business run in a consistent way and build trust with your customers.

If you need mold remediation in your Salem business premises, you want to know the company you call has established standards and best practices. You would not entrust someone with your business if you were not confident in their knowledge and procedures.

What is the IICRC and why does it matter?

IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC is a non-profit organization for the restoration industry (including fire, flood, and mold remediation.) It was founded in 1972 and is now an international organization with over 6000 certified firms worldwide.

The IICRC aims to establish global standards for the remediation. What does that mean for your business? It means that IICRC-trained staff understands the theory and practice of remediation, and they are up to date on best practices and the most effective techniques.

How does SERVPRO train its staff?

We use IICRC standards to train our staff, and we offer:

  • 15-day hands-on training at our training facility for operators
  • Self-paced certification programs for all staff
  • Ongoing training and e-learning to keep our team up to date

We know that investing in our SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead team is the best way to serve the local business community.

What do the IICRC standards for mold include?
The IICRC standards for mold cover every aspect of mold remediation, including:

  • Being aware of health and safety for your staff and our workers
  • Documenting the condition of the building and our process as we proceed
  • Controlling contamination at the source to prevent spores from spreading further
  • Removing mold contamination
  • Dealing with the moisture problem – moisture is present wherever there is mold, and fixing the moisture issue is vital

In practice, these standards add up to a thorough mold remediation process in Salem that leaves your business Certified: SERVPRO cleaned.

What health and safety precautions do we take?

We equip our teams with personal protective equipment that includes gloves, coveralls, eye protection, and respirators. We assess your facility for any health and safety hazards before we begin work. In more severe cases, mold can rot wood or damage drywall, so we make sure the area is safe to work in before we start. 

We talk to you about health and safety issues and offer directions to ensure you and your staff stay safe throughout the process.

How do we document the conditions?

Monitoring conditions in the affected area is essential. We can see the mold mycelium (the collection of cells), but we cannot see how deep moisture goes inside walls or under carpets and floorboards. We monitor conditions using:

  • Moisture meters and probes to measure moisture levels in a range of materials
  • Thermal imaging to monitor the movement of water through building materials
  • Thermo-hygrometers to measure humidity

Proper monitoring means we can compare conditions at the start and end of the remediation process, and we can monitor moisture levels while remediation is in progress. Documenting means there is no guess-work involved: We always know the exact conditions in your business premises and can adjust our process if needed to get the best results.

How do we control contamination at the source?

It is effortless for mold spores to become airborne and spread through your business. SERVPRO takes steps to prevent spores from escaping:

  • Setting up negative air machines so that air cannot flow from the contaminated area to uncontaminated areas
  • Shutting off HVAC systems and covering doors, windows, and vents to cut off escape routes
  • Building a containment chamber around the affected area

What do we do to remove mold contamination?

Although it is impossible to capture every last microscopic spore, the more visible contamination we can remove, the less chance of it coming back. We use HEPA vacuums to hoover up mold, and we can also use dry scrubbing, soda blasting, and wet wiping with antimicrobial agents to deal with fungal growth.

SERVPRO can remove mold from carpets, drapes, blinds, walls, wooden surfaces, furniture, and more. Our technicians will also dispose carefully of any mold-invested materials that cannot be cleaned.

How do we deal with the moisture problem?

The IICRC standards state that the best cleaning methods cannot prevent mold returning if moisture is still present. We handle the moisture problem using a combination of air movers, fans, and dehumidifiers to evaporate water and reduce humidity. We can also bring in portable heaters if needed. You can count on our AMRT applied microbial remediation technicians to service your building following best practices.

For knowledgeable mold remediation you can trust, call SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead at (978) 744-4545.

After Fire Damage Can a Business Space Be Returned to Its Former Condition?

10/15/2020 (Permalink)

A commercial building with a lot of fire damage. SERVPRO understands that your Salem business is your livelihood. We will do what it takes to get you back in business better than ever.

SERVPRO Can Come In and Help Get Your Salem Business Back to Its Former Glory After Fire.

After a fire, business managers in Salem are concerned about many things. They are primarily worried about returning to normal operations as quickly as possible. But one of those concerns is what condition their commercial space will be in once the restoration is completed after a fire?

SERVPRO has been providing fire damage restoration services in Salem and surrounding areas for almost twenty years. We also offer water, flood, and storm restoration services. Business managers want to return to operations as quickly as possible after a fire, even in temporary quarters. Many customers also plan their return to normal operations with a grand reopening celebration providing customers with discounts and handouts.

Our experienced team can help meet these goals. Our fire damage restoration processes include:

  • Removal of all items and structure damaged by the fire
  • Identification and cleaning of all things needing cleaning
  • Thorough cleaning of all surfaces to remove soot and smoke odors
  • Removal of smoke odors in all areas of the building

Our main target is to return your commercial space to its former condition, “Like it never even happened.”

Should Equipment and Materials Be Moved Out of the Property?

SERVPRO can assist business managers with these decisions. The preferred approach is to clean and deodorize equipment in place unless restoration is impeded. However, we offer pack-out services to remove items to our premises for thorough cleaning and sanitization. Our fire and odor removal technicians will review each item to make appropriate recommendations. For example:

  • Clothing and fabric items may be removed for cleaning
  • Small equipment items, particularly electronics, may be removed for specialized cleaning
  • Heavy equipment items are generally left in place
  • Surface cleaning can be performed by SERVPRO, while specially trained technicians may be required for interior cleaning of the equipment and maintenance

SERVPRO can help coordinate all of these activities, aiming to return your business to normal operations as soon as possible.

Call SERVPRO of Salem / Peabody / Marblehead (978) 744-4545 to help with fire damage to your business.

Can My Wet Carpet Be Saved?

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Office carpet that has been damaged by water Quick action can help save your property's water damaged carpets.

After a flood, many property owners may wonder if their carpet and pad can be saved as carpeting can be an expensive investment. Saving it is more cost-effective than replacing it but successful flooded carpet cleaning depends on many things.

The age and quality of the carpet and pad, as well as installation type, are key factors. But knowing the type of floodwater involved is essential to knowing if water damaged carpet cleaning is possible. In the water damage restoration industry, we classify floodwater into three main categories.

The three main types of floodwater

Category 1: Clean water from a broken pipe or rainwater that has not mixed with contaminants. Saving a carpet damaged by Category 1 water is possible if the carpet has been wet for less than 24-48 hours. Otherwise, the water may “degrade” into Category 2. Professionals can restore both padding and carpet through proper sanitation and remediation procedures.

Category 2: Greywater which is contaminated and can cause sickness if swallowed or if it touches the body. This includes overflow from washing machines or dishwashers, toilet overflows with no solid matter, broken aquariums, sump pump failures, etc. With this type of loss, the padding needs to be replaced, but the carpet can be salvaged. Not treating a Category 2 loss within 24-48 hours will turn into a Category 3.

Category 3: Blackwater that’s highly contaminated with pathogens or other harmful agents and materials. Examples include sewage, toilet backflows, flooding from seawater, rivers, streams, and water from hurricanes, storms or other weather-related events. Cleaning your flooded carpet is nearly impossible if Category 3 water saturated it.

Every water damage situation is different. So, you cannot know for sure if or when your carpet and pad can be salvaged until you have SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead inspect the carpeting.

Also, the faster you report the disaster, the lower the costs will be. If you’re dealing with a flooded carpet problem, contact SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead right away!

Flooded carpet cleaning: DIY or call a pro?

While trying to extract the water yourself has some benefits, professional carpet cleaning is a much better solution. A shop vacuum, towels, and ceiling fans are no match for professional extraction and drying equipment. Plus, an expert can evaluate the entire water damage incident and mitigate and remediate the entire loss, not just the carpet.

Also, the mitigation process should begin without delay. Otherwise, the carpet can suffer permanent damage. To have a better chance of saving the carpet, contact SERVPRO of Salem/peabody/Marblehead at once after the water damage incident. We have the tools and expertise to sanitize and dry the flooded carpet efficiently.

Except for cases of blackwater flooding, professional carpet cleaning can bring carpets back to life. The goal is not to replace, but to restore. We can help you save money by avoiding the high replacement costs.

After any flooding incident, always call your insurance company. Your homeowners insurance might cover the flood damage, but some flooding losses are not covered. For those, you might need separate flood insurance. If the loss has coverage, take photos and videos of the damage right away and file the insurance claim. Your insurance agent may also recommend a reputable restoration company to come to your rescue.

For any of your flooded carpet cleaning needs, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Saelm/Peabody/Marblehead. Our restoration teams will provide an industry-standard estimate and create a proper plan of action to restore your carpet quickly.  978.744.4545

5 Reasons To Have Your Office Professionally Cleaned

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

A sparkling clean office Keep your employees safe with a clean and disinfected work environment.

It is not uncommon for full-time employees to consider their workplace as their second home. Their home away from home. Because your employees are spending so much of their waking hours at work, working hard to make a profit and benefit the company, don’t you think you owe it to them to provide a clean and healthy work environment?

Many business owners are looking for ways to increase their company’s efficiency, safety, and appearance. Here are the top five benefits that business owners can experience for themselves when they invest in a commercial cleaning service.

1.Safe Work Environment

A clean workspace is a safe workspace for everyone. Because of the high-volume of traffic that an office sees on any given day, it is no surprise that they are also a breeding ground for germs, viruses and bacteria to grow and spread among your employees. Aside from the health concerns that a dirty workspace creates, a dirty workspace can also create potential dangers for accidents and personal injury to employees. While you might be tempted to think that you have everything under control by occasionally cleaning the restrooms and sporadically running the vacuum across the floors, the truth is that no one does a better job than SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead. We are trained in the most efficient ways to clean an office, removing any potential health and safety concerns.

2.  Less Work for You to Do

Let’s be honest, your employees are your number one priority. Therefore, cleaning is not always at the top of your list of priorities because you have more important things to take care of everyday. Having SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead come in and take care of all your cleaning needs, means that there is one less thing on your to do list. Then you can focus on what is most important—growing your business.

3. Increase Productivity

It should come as no surprise that a clean work environment will increase employee productivity. Numerous studies have proved that a cluttered, dirty, unorganized environment hinders one’s ability to concentrate, be productive, and work effectively. One study also found that there can possibly be long-term effects on the cognitive well-being of employees who work in a dirty work environment.

4. Improve Professional Appearance

Often, professionalism is associated with cleanliness. If your appearance is cluttered and dirty, you’ll be perceived the same way. There is nothing more embarrassing than having your customers or colleagues view you as unprofessional and messy. Hiring SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead to come in and assist with your cleaning needs can help with your professional image. Make sure that everyone who walks through your front door knows that you are a professional place of business from the clean atmosphere that they are walking in to.

5. Higher Quality Level of Clean

While you might think that you are doing an okay job at being the full-time manager and some-time janitor, chances are that you aren’t.  Professionals will have the tools, supplies, and equipment required to ensure that you are receiving the highest-level of clean.

At SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead we have full cleaning and disinfecting services available. We are armed with the knowledge to provide you with a quality cleaning job that will make you proud! Contact us today to learn how we can help your business put its best foot forward..978.744.4545.

Mold Is A Growing Problem For Your Business!

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growing in the corner wall of a business Don't let mold slow down your business!

Mold contamination is a growing concern for businesses of all sizes. Mold, a fungus that is found in damp places, can grow almost anywhere moist conditions exist. Left unattended, it can cause health effects as well as serious structural damage to your facility. As your go-to experts in mold remediation, we take a methodical and systematic approach to carefully identify the source of the mold growth and help eliminate mold from your working environment.

What are the signs to look for in your building?
*A recent flood or water damage
*Leaks in or around the building either from burst pipes or air conditioning systems
*Musty odors in the building
*Discoloration or water stains on the walls or ceilings

STRUCTURAL DAMAGE
Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on and can grow anywhere:

Foundation
Roof
HVAC system
Drywall
Gutters
Furnishings and more

HEALTH PROBLEMS
In your home or business, all molds have the potential to cause side effects:

Headaches
Breathing Difficulties
Skin irritation
Allergic reactions
Aggravation of asthma symptoms

FINANCIAL PROBLEMS
The presence of mold in your building means significant repairs may be necessary. This presents a financial problem for business owners. 

LET US TAKE CARE OF YOUR MOLD PROBLEM
Regardless of mold, your work must go on. Trust the experts in mold abatement at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead to take care of the problem so you can focus on your business. We take a methodical and systematic approach to carefully identify the source of mold growth and help eliminate mold from your working environment as soon as possible.

If you suspect mold in your Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, Swampscott or Middleton business, count on SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead to quickly remediate the issue and let you get back to business as soon as possible. Once we assess the damage, we’ll work with you to create a comprehensive remediation plan unique to your needs. Then, we’ll keep you informed every step of the way to ensure we’re always on the same page and providing the best work. With our guided expertise, innovative tools and technologies, we’ll get your business up and running again as soon as possible. Contact us today at 978.744.4545.

Signs of Hidden Water Damage

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

an office kitchen with water on the floor Look for the signs of water damage in your building

The problem with hidden water damage is twofold: visually, it can go undetected for a long time and, in doing so; it can seriously damage your facility. Long-term water damage can cause the wood to rot around window sills, casements, door frames, and inside walls, it can pose a hidden danger to your health in the growth of toxic mold, and it can even weaken the foundation or cause structural deterioration. Water damage clean up can be costly to business owners, too.

The key to avoiding such catastrophe to your business, as well as your savings, is to be wary for troubling signs of hidden water damage on your property—especially this time of year! Autumn in Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, Swampscott and Middleton MA bring harsh winds and heavy rainstorms. With winter comes months of freezing rain, snow, and ice buildup. All the while your house is subjected to months of wet weather and moisture.

Water Damage: Where and When You Least Expect It 

Even the most solidly built building can occasionally have water damage. A roof flashing may slightly buckle in a windstorm or partially dislodged due to ice, and water can enter along the side of a chimney. How well is your basement sealed? If your building happens to be below street level then your foundation can take a wet beating with each storm. Around window sills, water seepage inside your walls is not uncommon after wind-driven rainstorms. By the time mold finally comes to the surface, the wall could be on the verge of collapse. Even a hairpin crack in a water pipe, out of sight beneath floorboards or interior walls, will expand over time and cause water damage to your building.  

Every building is an intricate structure. Inside the walls, above the ceiling, and beneath the floorboards are all the inner workings. We do not see the pipes, wiring, conduits, and ventilation system that make a home or building function. Because water damage can occur in any nook or cranny or within any wall, regular inspection of your building should be as routine as a spring cleaning.

Checking for Signs of Hidden Water Damage

Some of the areas to check for potential hidden water damage are your floors, ceilings or walls. Look for discoloration on sidewalls, around window casements and doorframes. 

  • Water spots are obvious signs of hidden water damage. However, if the paint is flaking, or drywall is cracking, even small sections, it could be a sign of a water leak within.
  • If tile or floorboards are slightly bulging or raised it could be a sign of water buildup. An unexplained stain on a carpet (excluding your beloved Fido) is another sign you may have some type of hidden water damage.   
  • Checking the plumbing for leaks and signs of corrosion is another preventive measure business owners can take to ensure against hidden water damage. If there are small puddles or pools under the sink or around the toilet, or if leaking is occurring under the floorboards beneath the bathtub, there could be a crack in the pipe. Hoses in washing machines or dishwashers that are showing signs of wear become brittle or too flexible and crack. When inspecting, look for water damage around the appliances, along the walls or on or under the flooring. 
  • The roof and attic should be inspected as well. On the outside, look for damaged or loose flashing and cracked, curling or broken shingles.  In the attic, check for tell-tale water spots on the ceiling or floorboards. Especially check and inspect the chimney area and venting.
  • Odors are a sure sign that you have hidden water damage. If you are getting intermittent whiffs of mold or mildew in your house, especially when it’s damp, humid, or raining out, follow your nose­­—it can lead to the source of the problem. Likely spots are under sinks, in the basement or interior closet sidewalls.
  • Finally, outside, if standing water remains in your yard for days after rainstorms, it’s a sure sign of poor drainage. Poor drainage can cause gradual seepage into your basement or possibly damage your foundation.

Leave Water Damage Clean Up to the Experts

Water damage clean up and restoration is far less expensive than waiting for the problem to ‘disappear’ on its own. Hidden water damage can be detected with regular inspections of your property. If there has been a heavy rainstorm or prolonged periods of rain, and there’s a whiff of mildew in a closet, or any paint flaking on walls, or water spots on the ceiling, you should contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead for an inspection. If there is hidden water damage occurring in your building we will locate the source and fix the problem.  Call us today at 978.744.4545

Why A Professional Restoration Company Is Your Best Bet

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

An office with standing water on the floor When a disaster hits your business trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead

When a storm, fire or any other type of disaster strikes your Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, Swampscott or Middleton business, the aftermath can be devastating. It’s hard to know what to do and where to begin picking up the pieces. If there is significant damage to your business, the thought of the cleanup process can be overwhelming. You may ask yourself if you should you do the cleanup yourself to save the cost of hiring a professional. How hard could it be? In actual fact, the cleanup and restoration process after a disaster is a huge job. It is not as simple as a DIY job. There are many factors that need to be considered, and many hidden dangers that can get worse if not handled properly. Here are the reasons why it’s best to hire a professional restoration company after a disaster has struck your home.

Smoke and Fire Damage

On the surface, smoke damage doesn’t seem that bad. You may assume that you could probably use a household cleaner to get rid of any marks or stains. However, the danger of smoke damage isn’t necessarily about what you can see but what you can’t see. Smoke particles are very fine and have a knack for settling into the small crack and crevices of your office. If not removed, the burnt smell can linger in your business for a long period of time, and in some cases permanently. In addition, the smoke particles can irritate your lungs and cause health problems if not cleaned up properly.

Respiratory issues are very much associated with improperly treated smoke damage. Knowing which areas of your facility have been damaged by smoke can very difficult. This is the due to smoke particles being very fine, which can be invisible to the naked eye. With every breath you take, you may be inhaling soot and smoke particles. They contain toxic elements that can severely damage your lungs. You may notice that you are coughing or wheezing for no particular reason. Smoke exposure has even been linked to lung disease and other chronic lung conditions.

Eye irritation can also be a result of smoke exposure. Fine smoke particles can cause your eyes to feel a burning sensation. In some extreme cases the eyes can swell and it can affect your vision. Seek medical attention if this occurs.

Flood Damage

Floods can cause extensive damage to your business. They not only have the ability to saturate and destroy your facility and its contents, but also threaten it with secondary damages such as mold damage. Once the water is gone, you may assume that moping and drying are sufficient enough to keep damage at bay but depending on the extent of the damage your facility may need more than that.   Quickly addressing water damage greatly reduces secondary damaged from occurring.

Water damage left unaddressed may cause mold damage which can occur in less than 48 hour after water infiltration. Drywall and flooring are particularly susceptible to water damage due to their porous materials. A professional restoration company can make sure that all building materials in your office are properly cleaned thoroughly and efficiently to minimize how much of your property need to be discarded or replaced.

Mold is silent and oftentimes rears its ugly head after flooding. If all of the moisture is not removed completely, mold can easily develop, multiply and infest your office. As it grows, it releases spores into the air that can be inhaled by the occupants of the building. These spores can cause serious health problems, especially for those who already have respiratory issues such as asthma. People with allergies, infants, and children are especially at risk of being harmed by mold as well. Every inch of the flooded area must be properly dried and sanitized so that mold is not allowed to prosper.

Safety

Whether you have experienced damage from fire, flood, or another natural disaster, safety should always be the number one concern. If you have not had a professional assess the damage to your building, there could be a ticking time bomb just waiting to cause havoc. It might be that your floor has been weakened during flooding and it could collapse at any moment. Not to mention the damaging affect to your health associated with mold or smoke exposure. After a storm, your roof may be left vulnerable and a quick repair might be all that you need to avoid extreme and costly damages. Having your building properly cleaned and restored by a professional will help keep you and your employees safe.

Having your facility damaged by a natural disaster or a fire is upsetting and stressful enough. It can be hard to think of spending money on repairs and restoration when you think that you may be able to do it yourself. However, the money should be considered an investment. You are investing in the health and safety of yourself and your employees, the structural integrity of your building and the contents within. If you have been affected by disaster, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Mrblehead today at 978.744.4545

Water Damage: The Three Different Water Types

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

A hallway showing damage from category 3 water loss The professionals at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead are trained to handle any commercial water loss

Not all water damage cleanup is the same, and we at SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead are witnesses to that. In fact, different types of water require different cleanup techniques. Contaminated water requires extra decontamination and sterilization to restore a healthy indoor environment for you and your employees. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) uses three different categories of contaminated water to determine the type of water damage received, and the correct way to clean it up.

Water is considered contaminated if it contains any level of pollutants that may render it unusable or unable to support basic use. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, water can be contaminated by any of the following: 

  • Agricultural Pollution
  • Nutrient Pollution
  • Sewage
  • Wastewater
  • Oil Pollution
  • Radioactive Substances
  • Other Materials

Water damage from contaminated water not only poses a serious threat to your business, but also to your health. After any type of water damage has occurred, it is important to identify the source and determine the level of contamination so that the proper cleanup method can be performed. 

Category 1 Water

Water damage from Category 1 Water comes from a clean source. Examples of sanitary water sources include faucets, water heaters, pipes, and toilet tanks. Also termed ‘clean water,’ Category 1 Water is generally harmless to your health, but can still cause significant damage to your home. In as little as 24 hours following water damage, mold can begin to grow. If left untreated for too long, Category 1 Water will degrade and become toxic. Cleanup after water damage from Category 1 Water requires immediate extraction, and complete drying with dehumidification. After drying is complete, all affected areas will then be cleaned. 

Category 2 Water

Category 2 Water damage comes from a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contaminants. If ingested or contacted, this water can cause sickness and other health symptoms. Because Category 2 Water carries harmful microorganisms, it is also commonly referred to as ‘gray water.’ Sources of gray water include toilet bowls without feces, dishwashers, washing machines, showers, or seepage from hydrostatic failure. Category 2 Water damage cleanup follows the same steps as Category 1 (extraction, and complete drying) up until the cleaning portion. Specific decontamination cleaners and techniques are used to safely and adequately remove all harmful substances, contaminants, and bacteria. Once proper sterilization is complete, then the cleanup process can be finished. In as little as 48 hours, Category 2 Water will quickly degrade into Category 3 Water. 

Category 3 Water

Category 3 Water is also called ‘black water’ because it is grossly contaminated. Black water can contain pathogenic, toxic substances and harbors bacteria, harmful chemicals, ground materials, and disease-causing organisms. Examples of Category 3 Water sources include, but are not limited to: sewage, toilet water containing feces, flood water from seawater, ground surface water, water from rivers or streams, and water from hurricanes, tropical storms, or other weather-related events. Category 3 Water is extremely dangerous and destructive, and requires the use of personal protective equipment, and specialized water extraction, cleaning and drying equipment to mitigate the spread of harmful contaminants and to adequately sanitize the affected area. Due to the high level of contaminants, Category 3 Water cleanup often entails the complete removal of porous materials like drywall, carpet, and upholstery. If ingested or even upon contact, Category 3 Water can cause serious illness and even death. 

No two water damage cases are alike, and each situation needs to be cleaned up based on the unique needs of the type of water. Before attempting to cleanup any type of water damage, even Category 1 Water, it is highly recommended that professionals who are certified by the IICRC handle all water damage cleaning and repairs. If you find yourself facing any type of water damage in Salem, Peabody, Marblehead, Swampscott or Middleton, whether from a leaking pipe or a sewage back up, SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead is trained and certified to handle all types of water damage cleanup. Let us help protect you and your business from the dangers and risks of water damage, and get your facility cleaned up the right way. Call us today at 978.744.4545

Why Fast Flood Response is So Important

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Respond quickly to any water loss!

There’s a few reasons why experts recommend that you begin flood clean-up within 24 hours. The first is simply about your safety. Waterlogged homes are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mold and pathogens. Twenty four hours after a flood, toxic mold can begin to grow that puts your health and the health of your family members at risk. The odds of bad bacterial growth surge again after the 48 hour mark.

The Risks of Mold

Exposure to mold can cause many health concerns. You may develop irritation in your throat, eyes and nose along with increased phlegm. You may find your asthma symptoms worsen. Even if you don’t have asthma, mold may make your wheeze, cough, and feel short of breath.

Once mold has developed you need the help of a certified mold inspector to ensure that the mold is removed. This can raise the costs of your clean-up. It’s better to just not let mold develop in the first place.

Other Complications from Slow Flood Clean-Up

Mold and bacteria aren’t the only problems that come with a slow response to flooding. Often they bring odor with them. The smell from flooded clothing, furniture and carpet is like the smell you get from leaving your clothes in the washing machine over night, but worse, and harder to remove. Once it has developed, you’ll need to use odor absorbing products to reduce it, and cleaning agents to target the bacteria that creates the smell.

Of course, if you’ve flooded from a sewer line break, or if your whole area has flooded, there will likely be sewer material absorbed into your possessions. That will bring along its own smells and make pathogen growth even more likely.

Advantages of Addressing Water Damage Right Away

The less time the water has to penetrate deeply into materials, the less damage it will cause and the more effective the cleaning process will be. Not only does this mean that we may be able to salvage more of your possessions that you’ll find hard to replace, it means you’ll have reduced replacement costs.

Those items that have porous surfaces are more likely to be affected by flood water right away. Drywall, ceiling tiles, and flooring are all usually porous and may all be saved if you get a clean-up crew in right away. The sooner we can examine these items the more likely we’ll be able to salvage them. On the other hand, items with hard, nonporous surfaces are more likely to survive a 24 to 48 hour wait. These surfaces will generally be our second priority as we clean your home.

If your home has suffered a flood, whether large or small, it’s critical to call SERVPRO of Salem/Peabody/Marblehead within the first 24 hours, so we can arrive quickly. Our office number is 978.744.4545. This will minimize the health risks of flooding and save you money on cleaning and replacing damaged items.

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!

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.”

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.

 

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.
 

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.

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.