Recent Posts

Why Realtors Choose SERVPRO

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

large home with a for sale sign in front of it Realtors choose SERVPRO when selling homes!

A good real estate agent has strong ties to the community and knows everything there is to know about the areas they do business in. Realtors regularly recommend and call on SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford and Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is for a general deep clean of a home that is about to hit the market. Having your home professionally cleaned from top to bottom by highly trained professionals makes a huge impact on the overall presentation of the home. Beyond general cleaning, we can handle a host of other issues that may arise when getting a home ready for an open house. We have state-of-the-art equipment and advanced technology to handle deodorization. Whether it was a smoker or pets, we can remove unwanted odors from your home. Did you find mold during the home inspection? No problem! SERVPRO specializes in mold remediation so you do not have to worry about microbial growth while selling your home. Did you remodel the kitchen and bathroom ahead of listing your house? Let us handle the post-construction cleanup. We can professionally clean drapes, blinds, upholstery, walls, floors, ceilings, crawlspaces, and even your ducts! You do not want to leave sawdust sitting in your ventilation system as it can lead to mold growth that will spread through the HVAC system over time. No matter how big the job is, we are here to help. We can even clean out the home of a hoarder, regardless of how extensive the cleanup job is, we can clean it up and get your home into pristine condition. Find out why realtors choose SERVPRO to sell their homes faster at 781-861-0500.

What Exactly Is Storm Damage Cleanup and Restoration?

6/23/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician examines water damage in home with customer SERVPRO technicians are highly trained professionals in more than just water restoration.

When most people think of SERVPRO, they think of water damage cleanup and restoration. Storm damage cleanup and restoration is one of the five core services that we offer but, what does that mean? If there was a nasty storm ripping through the Boston metropolitan area, a tree could fall down into your Lexington home, destroying your roof and allowing gallons of rain water to flood the attic. We would do more than just dry the water. We have crews standing by 24/7 to respond to any storm emergency. We will tarp up the roof to stop more rain from entering the property. We will pack up any contents that are wet and move them to our warehouse to be dried properly while we restore your home. After the drying is complete, we can have our construction team come in to redo the floors, repair the roof, and put a fresh coat of paint on everything to make it "Like it never even happened." What if the storm destroyed hundreds of homes in Lexington, Waltham, Wayland, Weston, and Watertown? SERVPRO has over 1800 franchises around the country that can deploy to severe weather events to handle any amount of damage caused. Our Massachusetts franchises recently went down to Texas to help hundreds of families in need after the severe weather event they experienced in February. Storm damage cleanup and restoration means more than just drying rain water, it means you and your family will be taken care of in their time of need by the experts. You do not have to worry about dealing with multiple vendors, wondering if they are giving you the honest truth, or just trying to make a buck off of a storm emergency. When a storm causes damage at your property, call the pros who are faster to any size disaster.

Controlling the Path of a Fire

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Destroyed bathroom due to venting - not fire. Second floor bathroom damage due to venting and not the fire

Our office recently got a call for a fire damage job in Arlington, MA. I was eager to tag along with our production manager, Chris Mack, to photo document the work from start to finish. The fire began in a first-floor kitchen as the result of food on the stove igniting. The damage was extensive in the kitchen, which was to be expected, what was unexpected was the damage done above the kitchen. As I explored the second floor I noticed a lot of damage had occurred in the bathroom directly above the stove. The interesting part was the bathroom sink, toilet, and wall looked as though they had been destroyed by a heavy object. Chris explained this was the work of the fire department venting the fire upwards. I also thought this was odd as there was very little smoke, soot, or fire damage done in the bathroom. So what is venting and why did it need to be done in this home?

Venting is all about controlling the path of the fire and smoke. As a fire grows, heat and smoke are expelled into the air. When a home is not ventilated, the heat and smoke get trapped in the building, slowly permeating from one room to another. As heat and smoke build in surrounding rooms the fire spreads with it. The fire department's first goal is to vent the fire to control where it will go next. In this case, the fire was in a first-floor kitchen, so the best course of action was to vent the fire upwards and then spray water down on it. Heat and smoke want to rise, so by venting the fire up, it only wanted to spread upwards and not sideways to surrounding rooms making it much more difficult to contain. The firefighters quickly assessed the scene and sprang into action by making a large opening in the bathroom floor and wall above the kitchen stove. Once the opening was made they sprayed water into the home from above dousing the flame and extinguishing the fire. Because of this the fire was contained in the kitchen and was unable to spread anywhere else. Now that I know what venting is I can appreciate what happened at this home in Arlington and how the fast actions of the local fire department kept the flames at bay. Now it is SERVPRO's chance to get to work, making this home look "Like it never even happened." 

Primary Water Damage vs. Secondary Water Damage

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technicians speaking with customers in kitchen crouching in front of leaking sink. SERVPRO technicians working with customers in their kitchen after a sink leaked everywhere

Primary vs. Secondary Water Damage

Water is a powerful force and when it is unleashed, containing it can be quite the feat. Liquids have a way of moving around, and even through, some barriers. Once a large amount of water has been released into your home, there is no way of knowing exactly where it will end up and which materials it will wick into. Water damage occurs in two phases, primary water damage and secondary water damage. Mitigation is crucial and must happen as soon as possible to reduce the amount of damage that will occur. 

Primary Water Damage

Primary damage occurs immediately after a flood or severe leak. The leak could be from an overflowing sink or tub, a washing machine drainage tube, a burst pipe, a blown boiler, or a malfunctioning dishwasher. All of these incidents will release a large amount of water suddenly into your property and allow it to travel into places it should not. Examples of primary damage include soaked furniture, saturated flooring, bubbling wallpaper, and wet drywall. If not taken care of quickly and professionally, primary damage will lead to secondary damage.

Secondary Water Damage

Secondary water damage is the additional damage caused by primary water damage that has not been mitigated. Bubbling wallpaper will begin to peel, wet drywall will sag, saturated flooring will warp, and mold will start to grow. In a water emergency time is of the utmost importance. The sooner you dry your property the less severe the damage will be. Be sure to address the source of the water first by turning off your malfunctioning appliance, calling a plumber, or shutting off water to the property entirely. Once the source of water has been stopped, call the restoration professionals. SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford and SERVPRO of Waltham / Weston / Watertown / Wayland has crews standing by 24/7 to respond to any size or type of water emergency. Our highly trained technicians will get to work immediately to restore your property to preloss conditions. 

How Does Fingerprint Powder Work?

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

Orange square with fingerprints all over it and text that reads, "who cleans up after a crime scene?" Who cleans up after a crime scene?

Human hands and fingers are covered in ridges that are formed at birth. Each person has their own unique set of ridges forming a specific singular fingerprint. Because of this, fingerprints can be an excellent way to identify who was at the scene of a crime if any are left behind on surfaces. Law enforcement has been using this technique for over a century to capture criminals. But how exactly does it work? 

The ridges are made up of rows of sweat pores that are constantly secreting perspiration. This perspiration along with oil and grease from other parts of the body sticks to your fingerprints and can be transferred to other certain types of surfaces. Think of when a piece of scotch tape gets stuck to the tip of your finger, when you remove the tape, an impression of your fingerprint is left on the tape. The same thing happens when a criminal breaks into a home and touches a marble countertop or door handle. The prints will remain on the surface long after the perpetrator has left the building. Law enforcement can then lay down fingerprint powder on these surfaces to expose any prints left behind. Since your fingerprint is unique to only you, your prints prove without a doubt that you were in fact at that location. 

If your property was the scene of a crime and law enforcement covered it in fingerprint powder, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford and SERVPRO of Watertown / Weston / Wayland / Waltham can clean it up. Removing fingerprint powder is a difficult task and can often ruin wooden surfaces, carpets, and paint. SERVPRO has highly trained professionals who can safely remove the powder from your property without damaging it.

Mold Growth Increases During Summer Months in Your Home

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician with full PPE and respirator wipes down table SERVPRO technician in full PPE and respirator wiping down kitchen table

It is that time of year when temperatures and humidity reach their highest levels. Homeowners venture into their basement or attics for the first time in months and discover a musty odor... uh oh! Molds are constantly moving through the air and their spores are so small they cannot be detected by the naked eye. You do not see mold until it lands on a damp surface and begins to colonize. Mold spores need organic materials to feed on in addition to water and warm temperatures. Because of these factors, your home is an excellent place for mold to spread. Mold can grow on drywall, wallpaper, insulation, ceiling tiles, under carpets, and numerous other materials in your home. It can be nearly impossible to notice until you have a serious problem on your hands. If you suspect mold is growing in your home you need to act quickly to keep it from spreading. As mentioned earlier, mold spores float in the air and if you have a large amount of mold in your home it can enter your HVAC system and spread to each room, colonizing any damp areas very fast. SERVPRO has been helping families in Lexington, Bedford, Lincoln, Watertown, Weston, Wayland, and Waltham remediate mold for over 40 years. Our technicians are highly trained and on standby 24/7 to help you. In addition to mold remediation we can clean your HVAC system if it has been contaminated and as water mitigation experts we can stop microbial growth at the source to prevent further outbreaks.

Introducing Construction Manager: Nelson Valada

5/18/2021 (Permalink)

Construction manager Nelson Valada poses with his two dogs Construction Manager Nelson Valada with his two dogs Pretzel and Rosie

We are ecstatic to officially introduce the newest member of our management team, Nelson Valada! Nelson is the Construction Manager here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford and Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland. He joined our team in February 2021 and hit the ground running. He has 20+ years in the construction industry working as a carpenter, general contractor, and construction supervisor with experience in both residential and commercial settings. He is well versed in many trades and has “a guy” for everything. He has an 11 year old son who is an awesome hockey player and is active in Arlington Town Hockey Leagues. He is a Somerville High School graduate and currently lives in Burlington with his wife, son, and two dogs; Pretzel and Rosie. Nelson and his family are avid animal lovers who have adopted several pets over the years. His meticulous nature and high standards in “fit and finish” are commonly complemented along with his pleasant and easy going demeanor. We are happy to welcome him aboard to our new (Re)-Construction team!

Read what Peter from Weston had to say about Nelson’s recent work at his home, “Your painters have done an absolutely marvelous job with the basement. Their meticulous work brings vibrancy to a drab old basement. Throughout the entire salvage operation, from decontaminating the sewage backflow, to restorative carpentry and painting, your men acted with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. My hat off to the team at SERVPRO: they are role models for the industry.”

If you are planning to remodel your bathroom, kitchen, basement, or attic  this summer and are unsure of which contractor you can trust - look no further! Our franchises have been locally owned and operated for over 35 years - we live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors and we are always here to help.

Are You Part of the Air Fryer Craze?

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technicians dry scrub soot from ceilings and walls SERVPRO technicians are experts in fire damage restoration including soot removal, deodorization, and contents removal.

The air fryer craze reached new heights during the Coronavirus pandemic as Massachusetts residents were quarantined to their homes for over a year. Picking up new hobbies that could be enjoyed in your home, not being able to go out to restaurants, and increased awareness of healthy diets, created a perfect storm for air fryers to make their way into kitchens across the Commonwealth. With any new product on the market, consumers are not educated about the dangers associated with them. Cooking techniques and best practices are usually passed down from one generation to the next and as first-generation air fryers, it is our responsibility to enjoy them safely. Here are some helpful dos and don'ts while using your new kitchen appliance:

  • Do read the manual that came with your air fryer and take it seriously.
  • Don’t leave your air fryer plugged in while it is not in use.
  • Don’t burn yourself or your countertops.
  • Don’t let air fryer vents blow exhaust into electrical outlets.
  • Don’t put the air fryer on the stove.
  • Don’t use perforated parchment paper without food on it to keep it from floating around.
  • Don’t use cooking sprays with propellants, aerosol sprays, or chemical-based non-stick sprays.
  • Don’t use wet batters or wet coatings on food.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket.
  • Don’t forget to regularly check on your food while it is cooking.
  • Don’t season food with salt while it is still in the air fryer.
  • Do season food before or after cooking.
  • Do only use accessories and inserts that are made for your air fryer.
  • Don’t clean your air fryer or its components with metal scouring pads.

While this is not an exhaustive list, it will certainly help you operate your air fryer safely which will protect your kitchen and home from fire damage. If you experience fire damage in your home - SERVPRO is here to help. We have been restoring homes in Lexington, Bedford, Lincoln, Watertown, Waltham, Wayland, and Weston for over 40 years. Give us a call at 781-861-0500 so we can make it, “Like it never even happened.”

Hurricane Preparedness Week

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

A pool of water at the bottom of stairs in a residential home. Water floods a home and pools at the bottom of a staircase.

May 9th to the 15th is Hurricane Preparedness Week. While hurricanes do not often hit New England, when they do, they can be deadly and costly. Hurricane Bob made landfall in Massachusetts on August 19, 1991, causing 18 deaths and $2.5 billion in damage. Hurricane Irene took the life of 9 New Englanders and left thousands without power in August of 2011. Massachusetts and Rhode Island sustained power outages, flooding, and wind gusts over 70 mph in October of 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy. SERVPRO of Lexington, Bedford, Waltham, Weston, Wayland, and Watertown was proud to respond to those in need during Hurricane Sandy. Here are five steps to prepare for extreme weather:

  1. Know Your Risks – figure out what types of wind and water hazards could happen where you live and how to prepare for them. Although coastal communities are usually the most affected, impacts can be felt hundreds of miles inland. Create an emergency plan for your family that includes emergency meeting places in your home, neighborhood, and surrounding areas.
  2. Build An Emergency Kit – have access to food, water, cash, medicine, and phone chargers. Keeping a kit at work, in your car, and at home can keep you prepared for any emergency at any time.
  3. Review and Gather Documents – review your insurance policies for your home, boat, and car. Be sure you have enough coverage to repair or replace your belongings. Standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding – check if flood insurance is available as soon as possible as it usually requires a 30-day waiting period.
  4. Be Informed and Have a Plan – sign up for phone alerts and get the FEMA app to be informed of any extreme weather approaching your area. Have an evacuation plan ready that accounts for pets and remove you from the evacuation area.
  5. Strengthen Your Home – if you do not live in an evacuation area and plan to weather the storm in your home, be sure it is up to date on repairs and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Trim trees and board up windows to prevent debris from potentially flying into your home.

If you experience flooding at your home, SERVPRO of Lexington, Bedford, Waltham, Weston, Watertown, and Wayland is on call 24/7/365 to respond. Our highly trained team of technicians has advanced techniques and equipment to handle any water damage situation making it "Like it never even happened."

Wind Speeds and their Effects on Your Home

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Foreman directs storm team crew carrying water damage equipment Disaster recovery team in action

Is Boston the new ‘Windy City’?

As many of you have probably noticed, it has been unusually windy in Massachusetts recently. One Boston Globe article even headlined, “Is Boston the new ‘Windy City’?” According to CurrentResults.com, Boston is in fact the windiest US city averaging a blustery 12.3 mph annual wind speed. As a New England native who has resided throughout the northeast for all of my 31 years, volatile weather is just a fact of life. It is what makes us, “hardy folk” and some might say it gives us a surly attitude, especially those from temperate climates. So what does all this wind mean for your home anyways, and should you be worried about its effects?

Wind Speeds and Effects

  • 19mph - Small trees begin to sway.
  • 25mph - Umbrellas break and you can hear the scraping of branches and wires.
  • 32mph - Whole trees begin to move and it can be difficult to walk.
  • 39mph - Vehicles can veer off the road and branches break off of trees.
  • 47mph - Minor structural damage can occur. 
  • 55mph - Trees begin to uproot and structural damage increases.
  • 64mph - Even higher prevalence and severity of structural damage.

What Does this all Mean?

Anything above 64mph and we are getting into hurricane force winds which are clearly not good for your home and you should be making the necessary preparations. What is interesting is that 47mph and above is when damage can begin to occur. Just last month Massachusetts saw gusts up to 60mph! It seems wind could be more of a problem than you thought for your property. If storm damage occurs, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford & Waltham / Weston / Wayland / Watertown has crews standing by 24/7 to respond. We can provide board ups for windows, tarps for your roof, and any cleanup or restoration work needed. Call the professionals to make it "Like it never even happened." at 781-861-0500.