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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How to Prevent Fires in the Summer in Lexington, MA

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Summer Fire Safety

With the warmer months comes an increased risk for fires. Risk of fire increases because of the warmer weather, but also from the dangers posed by fireworks and outdoor grilling.

Grilling seems like a safe everyday summer activity, but it also holds a lot of danger.

Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts for a good reason. They can be very dangerous if not handled properly and cause many injuries and fires.

Fireworks

Though fireworks can be a lot of fun to set off and also watch, they are very dangerous if not handled and done properly.

Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts and should not be used by private citizens in the state. When around fireworks, be aware of your surroundings.

If you are in a state that allows the use of fireworks, here are some safety tips:

-Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities

-Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully

-Keep a bucket of water or a hose handy in case of fire or mishap

-After fireworks complete their burning, douse the device in water before discarding to prevent a trash fire

Grilling Safety

Whether you're grilling up a quick dinner, or multiple courses for your cookout, it is always best to grill safely to avoid causing a fire. You might not think your contained grill could pose such a danger, but it can. Some best tips on how to grill safely:

-Only grill outside and keep grill at least 3 feet from property

-Open your gas grill before lighting

-Don't leave grill unattended

-Clean your grill after each use to remove grease, which can cause a fire

Call SERVPRO for Fire Restoration

We wish you a warm summer season free of disaster, however, we are here 24/7 should you need our expertise to recover from a fire.

Do not hesitate to call us any time day or night. We are always Here to Help.

Lightning Safety in Lexington, MA

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

National Lightning Safety Week

The week of June 23 is used to spread awareness of lightning and how to keep yourself safe. Since the week was created in 2001, U.S lightning fatalities have decreased by about 40%. 

Though cases of being struck by lightning are rare, the risk and dangers are always present when lightning is.

The science behind the Storm

In the U.S, lightning strikes the ground around 25 million times each year and causes 28 fatalities per year on average.

Many victims were caught in storms during work and leisure activities while their attention was not focused on the weather change around them. Water-related activities made up 34% of these fatalities. 

From 2006-2017, most lightning fatalities occurred in the month of July due to the frequent occurrence of thunderstorms during the warmer months. 

Keep Your Property Safe

When a thunderstorm is near, it is important to protect yourself and also your property. Lightning rods protect your property from a direct strike, while a complete lightning protection system protects against a lightning-initiated fire.

A complete system offers electrical surge protection devices and surge protection for vulnerable appliances. If your property has gas piping, it should also have lightning protection. 

How to Stay Safe

Lightning can enter structures by either a direct strike, through wires or pipes that extend outside and through the ground. It is important to seek shelter in either a building with electricity and plumbing or a metal-topped vehicle with the windows closed.

Some tips on how to stay safe when you find shelter:

-Don't touch electrical equipment

-Avoid plumbing

-Stay away from exterior doors and windows that might contain metal pieces from outside your home to the inside

-Stay off balconies, porches, and out of open garages

-Protect your pets by bringing them inside. A dog house is not a safe shelter during a storm. If your dog is chained to a tree or on metal runners, it is vulnerable to being struck by lightning. 

Commercial Fire Restoration in Lexington, Mass.

5/14/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Fire Restoration in Lexington, Mass. After a fire, call in SERVPRO for certified fire restoration professionals.

After a fire in your Lexington facility, your overwhelming concern may be “When will we be back in business?” Here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford we have been helping businesses minimize their losses and downtime following a commercial fire loss for thirty-five years.

1-4-8 Commercial Fire Response

When you call us to report your fire, no matter what time of day or night, you will speak with a customer service professional who will initiate SERVPRO’s 1-4-8 emergency response.

One – you will be speaking with someone in our franchise certified in fire restoration within one hour tops. One hour is the promise, but our average is around twenty minutes.

Four – you will have someone from our franchise at your facility within four hours. That’s the SERVPRO promise, but again, we usually beat that. We understand you need help immediately and send our crews as quickly as possible to secure the scene.

Eight – your adjuster will have a scope of the job within eight business hours. We want to be as transparent as possible so you understand the work that must be completed and can plan for how long that may take.

Commercial Fire Restoration

Every fire job is different, but these are some of things we will address when restoring your facility:

  • Safety
  • Water Damage
  • Air Quality
  • Salvage Sort
  • Soot Cleaning

Safety

In general, your first responsibility is to ensure everyone’s safety by securing the property and turning off utilities if warranted.

Water Damage

You will likely have water damage stemming from the efforts of firefighters to control the blaze. This will need to be dried before cleaning can begin.

Air Quality

The air inside your facility will contain harmful chemicals and particulates. Our commercial fire restoration crew will don the appropriate safety gear, set up containment if needed to keep contaminated areas isolated, and begin filtering the air to remove particulates.

Salvage Sort

Many items will be salvageable, especially if we can get in and starting drying right away. Others will not. We will help you understand what we may be able to save and what is better to be discarded and replaced.

Soot Cleanup

Finally, you need the soot cleaned from every surface the smoke reached, including inside your HVAC ductwork.

Here To Help

SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford is here to help in your time of need. Should your Lexington facility suffer a fire, call us immediately at 781-861-0500. We want to minimize the damage and get you back in business as soon as possible.

Arson Awareness Week 2019

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Arson Awareness Week

The week of 5/5/19-5/11/19 is Arson Awareness Week. The focus for this year is “Preventing Arson at Construction Sites.” To see how you can help, check out this article from the U.S Fire Administration.

Fire Protection Technology

In the event a fire occurs, it is important your property is equipped with the correct and up to date fire protection technology. It is very important to have your home or business equipped with this technology, it could end up saving not only your property but also yourself. The USFA provides a list of the technology you should have and the importance of each one.

Awareness is Key

Preventing damage from happening to your property first starts with being aware. Taking steps to have better knowledge about the surroundings of your property will help you be better prepared in the event an emergency happens. USFA provides information on how contractors and the community, and first responders and inspectors can have better knowledge about a construction site. 

Best Practices

These tips should help you to be better aware and prepare your property better in the case of a fire. Fires can occur naturally or it could be caused by someone. It is always important to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior around any property, and also construction sites.

SERVPRO Prepares Lexington, MA For Any Size Disaster

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane Preparedness Week

We never think the impossible can happen to us, until it does.

We always try to be prepared for any disaster so when they do occur, we know exactly what to do.

Hurricane Preparedness

Sunday, May 5 is the start of the Hurricane Preparedness Week. We want to help you by providing you with must-know tips and resources for any size disaster.

How to Prepare

It's difficult to think ahead for what you will need in the wake of an emergency. In the moment of an emergency it can be difficult to calmly and quickly think of all the things you will need.

SERVPRO has a Ready Plan so you can prepare your home in case of a disaster. We believe it is important to be able to help you protect your property so you can focus on your personal safety in the event of a disaster.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) provides useful information on how to prepare before a hurricane, the moments leading up to when a hurricane will strike, and when a hurricane hits.

Our Mission

We want to be able to help people have peace of mind for any disaster that comes their way. Whether it is a thunderstorm or hurricane, SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster. 

Disaster Services in Bedford, Mass.

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Disaster Services in Bedford, Mass. SERVPRO Storm Team sends in reinforcements

Here in New England, the weather can be crazy from day to day and season to season. Over the past few years, ice dams, tornadoes, and microburst flooding have taken toll in our area.

Bedford, MA Disaster Services

When you are hit with a weather disaster, you need a partner to help you restore your building as soon as possible. You can count on SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford.

Our locally-owned franchise has been helping your Bedford neighbors recover from weather disasters for thirty-five years. We have the knowledge and technology to save what can be saved, remove what cannot, and dry whatever is left.

National Support

As a member of the SERVPRO family of franchises, we have a nationwide network of franchises that can come to our assistance during widespread emergencies that exhaust local resources.

We also have the benefit of training from our corporate office and supporting software like DryBook so we can be certain we hold our employees to the highest standards of our industry.

Restoration First

After the devastation of a flood or fire, time is of the essence. The longer you are displaced or your business is interrupted, the bigger the toll of the event on your life.

SERVPRO approaches every loss with a “restore first” mentality. Whatever we can save, we will. This keeps the cost of claims down, yes, but it also keeps the cost to your family or employees down as well.

Trust Local Professionals

When the weather takes a turn for the worse and leaves you with storm damage, call us at 781-861-0500 so we can help reduce the impact of a disaster on your home or business.

National Plumbers Day

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage National Plumbers Day We want to buy you a cup of coffee for National Plumbers Day!

National Plumbers Day is April 25 and we want to celebrate. Plumbers don’t always get the respect they deserve, and we would like to recognize all the hard work they do to create a sanitary environment for all of us

Can We Buy You a Cup?

This year we are offering a free cup of coffee to plumbers in our service area.

We invite plumbers in our area to call our office today at 781-861-0500 to claim a coffee gift card.

We are also having a raffle for a bigger prize. We will enter all plumbers who call in that drawing.

Plumbers Rule

We get it. You wedge yourself into tight spaces, you solve plumbing challenges, and you make sure clean water comes in and nasty water goes out. Not many are willing to do the things you do.

Thanks for All You Do

Thanks so much creating a sanitary environment in our homes and offices. Plumbing isn’t always a pleasant profession, and we appreciate that you do this job anyway.

Choose SERVPRO for IICRC-Trained and -Certified Employees in Lexington, Mass.

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Choose SERVPRO for IICRC-Trained and -Certified Employees in Lexington, Mass. IICRC-certified crews restore your property to industry standards

At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we pride ourselves on handling every job by the book. Which particular book depends on the job.

IICRC

We follow the recommendations of a third party certification organization called the Institute for Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The IICRC publishes the restoration standards for our industry. It approves our training programs and issues certifications to our employees when they pass certifying exams. 

Water Damage

The S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Water Damage and Restoration is the most important standard published by the IICRC for our purposes. Water restoration can account for up to 80 percent of our revenue, and even fire restoration and mold remediation jobs often include water damage that we need to address.

Our crews learn the science of drying. They understand the impact of temperature and humidity on the drying process. They know our equipment and how to set it up properly to facilitate drying.

They understand safety on the job site as well and often must instruct clients in this area.

Fire Damage

The S700 Standard for Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration guides our fire and soot cleanup efforts. Heat, soot, and smoke damage add another layer of complexity to the already challenging nature of cleaning in the wake of a disaster. 

Again, safety is paramount. Fire damage is not always apparent on the surface. IICRC-approved training teaches fire restoration technicians the hazards to watch for and how to stay safe.

Mold Remediation

We reference The S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation for the correct procedures for treatment of microbial contamination.

Additional Certifications

Members of our team also hold additional certifications in the standards for trauma and crime scene cleanup and many other specialty restoration situations we may face.

Choosing the right restoration company following a disaster is imperative to avoid delays, get the job done correctly, and prevent secondary damage in the months and years ahead. Call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford for crews with the training, certifications, and experience to get your property restored correctly.

Choose SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford: Locally Owned and Operated

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Choose SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford: Locally Owned and Operated Steve and Dave Taylor run the SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford franchise

When you partner with our franchise for fire or water restoration, you not only get the power of the SERVPRO training system, DryBook software, and a national team of storm responders, you also benefit from the knowhow and experience of the Taylor brothers.

Locally Owned and Operated

Dave and Steve Taylor have been part of the SERVPRO family since their parents Lee and Barbara Taylor purchased the SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford franchise in 1984.

The Taylor brothers grew up in the business and hold many restoration certifications. They have years of hands-on experience, and they keep abreast of changes in the industry as the technology and science improve.

Professional Network

Through nearly thirty-five years of emergency restoration, Dave and Steve have worked with many associated businesses in the area. They have an extensive network of professionals they call on to help get the job done when specialists are required. If we cannot clean it, the brothers probably know someone who can.

Community

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford is dedicated to the communities we serve. Our franchise is a member of the Bedford Chamber of Commerce and the Lexington Chamber of Commerce.

The Lexington Chamber’s Annual Golf Tournament and the Bedford Chamber’s Flavors of Bedford are just a couple of the local events we support. 

We want to be here for you in your time of need. When things go wrong, count on the Taylor brothers for a local restoration team with decades of experience and nationwide support.  

SERVPRO DryBook Software Guides Our Decisions and Stores Job Data

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO DryBook Software Guides Our Decisions and Stores Job Data SERVPRO DryBook helps us apply the ANSI/IICRC S500 Standard

There are many advantages to being a locally-owned business representing a national brand. At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we appreciate the professional software that corporate provides, especially DryBook.

Follow the Standard

DryBook is proprietary software designed to guide our crews in the proper implementation of the ANSI/IICRC S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Water Damage Restoration.

Quick Calculations

While all of our crews are certified in water restoration and the calculations necessary for placing the correct equipment, DryBook helps us with quick calculations. We enter the size of a room and its saturation level, and DryBook lets us know how many pieces of equipment are needed to dry the room in a timely manner.

You can be sure that when a SERVPRO crew chief places fans and dehumidifiers in your property, the number is guided by the science of drying and not a guestimate based on how many pieces of equipment we have available.

Documentation

DryBook also provides a place to store all diagrams, photos, and signed forms associated with your loss. The crew chiefs also record daily moisture readings in DryBook, creating a permanent record of the drying process in your loss.

When you need your property dried quickly and efficiently, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford is here for you, around the clock, every day.  Our trained and certified crews will document your loss and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Measuring Our Efforts with Moisture Meters

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Measuring Our Efforts with Moisture Meters Detecting moisture behind a wall with a moisture meter

Restoring your property following a flood is all about getting building materials and contents dry as soon as possible.

The longer everything remains wet, the more likely you will have to deal with mold growth or permanently unsalvageable materials.

Moisture Measurements

Our production manager will bring a moisture meter when assessing your water damage to measure how much moisture is in various areas and materials in the building. These measurements guide our recommendations and allow us to evaluate our efforts during the drying period.

A thermal imaging camera shows us where to look for water hidden behind walls and beneath floors by revealing temperature changes around a room. A moisture meter identifies whether water is responsible for any temperature differences found.

Pre-loss Condition

Our aim when restoring a water damage is to return the property to preloss condition. A building will not be completely dry at the end of the job, as there is always some amount of humidity in the air.

When we first arrive at your loss, we will measure the moisture in a room unaffected by the flooding. This measurement will indicate the usual humidity of the building, and that will be our target for determining when our drying efforts have reached preloss condition.

Daily Moisture Readings

Each day during your restoration project, our technicians monitor progress at your location. They make sure all equipment is running as expected, and that drying is proceeding as it should.

Daily moisture meter readings show us whether or not the humidity is going down in each treatment area. If we find drying has stalled, we will figure out why. We want to avoid wasting time and money on extra drying days.

Professional Restoration

A moisture meter is just one of the many tools we use to dry your building after a flood. Call on our trained and certified professional restoration technicians when you have a flood. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

What Happens When You Don’t Treat Your Water Damage Quickly?

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What Happens When You Don’t Treat Your Water Damage Quickly? Act fast to dry your home before mold grows!

Water will find a way, and when it does, mold soon follows. If you do not get building materials and contents dry within 72 hours, you may have to consider these items a total loss.

Water Damage in Basement

Our franchise was recently called to a single-family colonial. Water had seeped into a basement bedroom, soaking the carpet and saturating the drywall to about 18 inches.

The homeowners had never had an issue with groundwater before in the seven years they had owned the home, but water will find a way.

Unfortunately, visible microbial growth had already begun by the time the homeowners discovered the problem. We knew affected carpet, padding, drywall, and a bed all needed to be removed and discarded.

Containment

Our first concern was to set up a barrier to keep microbes in the air from migrating to other parts of the home and putting residents at risk. We used a HEPA-filtered air filtration device to create a negative-air environment and filter microbial spores and other particulates out of the air inside the affected area.

Asbestos Testing

Before we can perform demolition in Massachusetts, we need asbestos testing in accordance with  MA DEP state law 310 CMR 7.15 (4). Once we had satisfactory results, we were able to proceed.

Demolition

Our crew pulled out the carpet, padding, baseboards, and drywall. We applied a botanical anti-microbial solution to the studs to discourage mold growth.

Drying

We installed five air movers to circulate air and accelerate evaporation out of wet materials and a dehumidifier to remove any water vapor from the air. This room required two drying days to reach the standard.

Cleaning

Once the room was dry, we cleaned the floor with pressure steam. We also cleaned and deodorized carpet that was salvageable.

Call the Pros

When you find a water damage that has progressed to mold, you should call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford right away. At that point, you can be sure that spore counts are elevated and may be putting occupants at risk. A certified mold remediation technician can advise you on the next steps to take to keep occupants safe.

Of course, it is best not to wait until you see microbial growth. Call SERVPRO today for an estimate on your water loss and we'll make it "Like it never even happened."

From Carpets to Catastrophes: Commercial Cleaning at Hanscom

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial From Carpets to Catastrophes: Commercial Cleaning at Hanscom Commercial Restoration Cleaning

Many people know SERVPRO as the green trucks you call when you have a flood or fire in your home. You may not be aware that we have extensive experience working on government and commercial projects as well, and our services extend far beyond fire and water damage recovery.

Commercial Cleaning at Hanscom

SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford completes several jobs each month on Hanscom Air Force Base (HAFB). Housing calls us for carpet cleaning, mold remediation, and water damages. In addition, already this year, we have cleaned ducts, sewage, and a biohazard on the base.

On the civilian side, we have handled a couple of major water losses for the air terminal and control tower in recent years.

FAA Control Tower

In June 2018, a pipe broke in a ceiling inside the FAA control tower and affected six rooms. Our crew performed emergency services including

  • extracting all standing water,
  • removing all unsalvageable carpet and ceiling tiles,
  • installing fans and dehumidifiers to dry the building,
  • installing air filtration devices to clean the air,
  • and applying a plant-based anti-microbial solution to deter microbial growth.

Massport Civilian Air Terminal

In July 2017, torrential downpours flooded the civilian air terminal to five feet deep. Massport called SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford in for the project. Along with the usual tasks in a water restoration job, this project also included

  • document drying,
  • art restoration,
  • electronics restoration,
  • and wood furniture restoration.

Be Prepared

If you own a business in the area, we want to be your first choice for commercial restoration services. Let us show you why your neighbors trust us to manage the job when things go wrong.

Call 781-861-0500 today to learn more about how we can help your organization be “Ready for whatever happens.” 

When Your New Home Smells Like Smoke

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage When Your New Home Smells Like Smoke Smoke odors have to go

Buying a house always contains a level of risk. You can’t always see what is going on inside the walls or utility systems, and neither can the inspector.

Unpleasant Odors

Recent home buyers of a single-family ranch called us because several days after moving in, their home suddenly had an overwhelming smoke odor. They couldn’t find a fire, but they needed our help in removing the odor before they finished unpacking.

Upon arrival, our production manager discovered the smell was strongest in the area of the basement fireplace. The homeowners had not yet used the fireplace, so they couldn’t understand why that would make their entire house smell like smoke.

Damaged Chimney

Our production manager investigated further and found that the chimney damper was open and unable to close fully. High winds were blowing soot particulates through the fireplace, and they had entered the HVAC system and spread throughout the home.

Containment and Air Filter

The chimney would require a specialist to repair, so our first step was to seal the fireplace to stop the particulates entering the home. We also set up a HEPA-filtered air filtration device to pull soot particulates out of the air.

Deep Cleaning

We proceeded to clean all surfaces including ceilings, walls, baseboards, trim, flooring, windows, and cabinets. Additionally, we cleaned all of the contents that had already been unpacked.

Duct Cleaning

Our technicians also completed a thorough duct cleaning to ensure the HVAC system would not redistribute soot in the home.

Ozone Machine

Finally, we installed an ozone machine to fully neutralize any remaining odors. During this step, the homeowners were unable to occupy the home for about 24 hours.

Call for Odor Removal

Give SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford a call if you smell something you shouldn’t in your home. We have the tools and technical knowhow to make your space smell nice and allow occupants to breathe easy.

Power Outages from the High Winds in Bedford, Mass.

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Power Outages from the High Winds in Bedford, Mass. Do you have a plan for a power outage?

Winds whipped through our state earlier this week and left a wake of destruction. Downed trees and power lines caused many residents to lose their heat as well as their electricity just as temperatures were heading to zero degrees.

One tree in the road caused the town of Bedford to reroute traffic only to have to change the route again when another tree fell. One car even had a branch break through two places in its windshield.

Outages Overwhelm Eversource

The widespread destruction quickly overwhelmed Massachusetts utility companies, and they couldn’t get to everyone right away. Several Bedford residents were warned to expect to be without electricity for a day or two.

No Power, No Heat

When the power goes out, many property owners lose their heat as well because their furnace or boiler relies on electricity to spark the system. If you cannot restore power quickly, you risk pipes bursting and turning a minor inconvenience into a major rehab project.

This week, high winds blew in single digit temperatures. Deep cold threatens pipes by itself. Add in several properties without heat, and the danger was even greater.  

Power Outage Plan?

What would you do if your business had no heat and you expected subzero temperatures overnight? Do you have a plan?

You have two options when your power is out and a deep freeze is in the forecast.

  1. Drain all water from your building systems.
  2. Bring in an alternative power source.

The first requires a plumber, while the second may require an electrician to hook up a generator if you don’t already have one in place. However, electricians and plumbers may be in short supply during a widespread weather event, and you may find you are on a waiting list.

Be Prepared with an ERP

A SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) helps you think through these possibilities in advance, which allows you to act quickly when storm damage threatens your property. An ERP can also equip onsite staff with any information they might need to respond in time of need.

For example, if you own a generator, you have a backup source onsite, but are you confident that everyone in your building knows how the generator works and what it powers? Do they all know where to find the water shut off if a pipe bursts?

Wouldn’t it be great in a crisis if everyone had a list of your preferred vendors easily accessible so they do not hesitate to act and save your business? Remember, the sooner your company calls, the higher up you will be on any waiting list.

Call for Your Free ERP

Our team helps businesses in Bedford and surrounding towns create their ERPs free of charge. We want you to be as safe as possible when things go wrong, and then back in business again as quickly as possible afterward.

Call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford at 781-861-0500 to start your emergency plan before the next storm hits. We want you to be “Ready for whatever happens.”

Hot Water Heater Floods Lexington Basement

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hot Water Heater Floods Lexington Basement Call SERVPRO if your hot water heater fails

Hot water heaters create huge water losses when they fail. All that water pouring out of the tank can quickly cover the entire floor.

A basement hot water heater water loss can be very costly when irreplaceable mementos stored in the basement are saturated with contaminated water or mold grows in the humid environment.

Lexington Hot Water Heater

Last month, a homeowner was in the hospital when her hot water heater failed and water started pouring out of the furnace. Fortunately, a family member was home and called us immediately.

When our production manager arrived on the scene an hour later, there was standing water in the affected areas including carpet, tile, and vinyl flooring. Water had flowed from the furnace to a storage room, and then on to a laundry room and bathroom.

Extraction

We started this job by extracting as much water as we could from carpet and hard surface flooring using a truck-mounted extractor.

Anti-microbial

Next, we applied a botanical anti-microbial solution to discourage mold growth during our dry out.

Carpet and Contents

The carpet was too contaminated to be salvaged, so we removed it and its padding for disposal. We also had to move around a lot of the storage contents and appliances to be able to access all of the floor and create the right air flow for drying.

Drying

We installed 13 air movers to draw water out of wet materials and one dehumidifier to pull the water vapor out of the air.

Final Cleaning

When everything had reached the drying standard, we cleaned the hard surface floors.  

Call a Professional

As you can see, there is a lot to manage after a hot water heater fails and dumps water all over your basement. Regular hot water heater inspections can alert you to a problem before it happens, but sometimes old tanks let go without warning.

Call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford if your hot water tank gives way and leaves you with a mess. We know what to do next. We have the tools and training to minimize your costs and get it all dry before mold starts growing.

Bathroom Mold: How To Get Rid of It and Keep It from Coming Back

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Bathroom Mold: How To Get Rid of It and Keep It from Coming Back Keep bathroom dry to avoid mold growth

Bathrooms and mold go together like bathrooms and water.

Mold spores are everywhere, inside every building and outside in the air.

You cannot keep mold out no matter what you do, but you can make it very difficult for mold to grow in your home.

Bathrooms and Mold

Mold grows in bathrooms because it needs water to grow and bathrooms are a great source of water. Your first line of attack should always include reducing the water available for mold growth.

6 Ways to Keep Bathroom Dry

1. Ventilate during and after bathing. Either open a window or use an exhaust fan when showering or taking a bath. Let the fan run or leave the window open for at least 30 minutes after bathing.

If you use an exhaust fan, make sure it vents outside. A fan that vents to your attic will create an excellent environment for microbial growth that you may not notice for months.

2. Squeegee the walls and tub after use. Any water you remove will help reduce the ability of spores to take root and multiply.

3. Wipe off shampoo bottles, toys, etc. and put them away outside the shower or tub. Water sitting on these objects will harbor mold and increase your exposure.

4. Hang towels, washcloths, and loofahs outside the shower or tub to dry. Towels on the ground and washcloths in the tub are perfect places for mold to grow.

5. Fix leaky pipes, and dripping faucets as soon as you see them. Look behind the toilet, under the sink, and inside the vanity regularly so you will see a problem before it gets out of hand.

Keep It Clean

Clean all bathroom surfaces regularly. Mold is growing and releasing invisible spores before you can see it. Regular cleaning will remove the microbes you can’t see before the colonies burst into full bloom.

Wash all soft goods at least once a week. Cleaning towels, rugs, and shower curtains will also cut down on the spores available to grow.

Replace moldy caulk or grout. You may be able to remove the exterior staining, but once microorganisms find a home deep in these materials, you will never be able to fully eradicate them.

How To Clean Bathroom Mold

In most cases, small outbreaks can be cleaned using soap and water.

Bleach can remove mold staining but it may not kill the microbes.

If visible mold is growing on soft goods—rugs and towels, for example—these items should be replaced as you can never completely eliminate the microbes.

Professional Mold Remediation

For large mold outbreaks—greater than 10 square feet—it is best to hire a professional to ensure the problem is fully eradicated.

Additionally you should hire a remediation company when you suspect mold growing in or behind drywall and other porous building materials. A certified mold remediation technician can remove these materials while protecting building occupants from exposure to elevated spore counts.

SERVPRO mold remediation technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in the proper treatment of microbial infestations. Give us call when you see mold and you want it gone.

A Small Fire Makes a Big Mess in Arlington, Mass.

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage A Small Fire Makes a Big Mess in Arlington, Mass. All it takes one candle to light a building on fire

Fire is one of the most destructive forces on earth. Even small blazes release dangerous compounds that coat every surface and can contaminate the air.

You may also have water or the discharge from a fire extinguisher adding to the mess.

Should you start cleaning on your own, you may find you made the problem worse.

Church Fire in Arlington, MA

Shortly before Christmas, our franchise responded to a fire loss in a church. A candle had caught an altar wreath on fire. While fighting the fire, the fire department discharged powdered chemical fire retardant which dispersed throughout the building and affected all the walls, ceilings, floors, contents, and HVAC system.

Christmas Services

With Christmas Eve looming, everyone was feeling the pressure to clean the building as much as possible before the holiday services. Usual protocol recommends washing all surfaces including ceilings, but the policyholder decided against installing scaffolding to reach the upper walls and ceilings up to twenty feet high.

Several HEPA-filtered air filtration devices circulated all the air in the building and scrubbed particulates out of the air for a couple of days, while our crew cleaned all lower walls, floors, windows, fixtures, and other objects.

The restoration technicians completed cleaning all the lower surfaces on Dec. 22rd and the HVAC ductwork on Dec. 24th, just in time for the Christmas Eve service.

Commercial Fire Response

SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford understands the importance of time in the restoration process. Our commercial fire response crews will work with you to ensure your building is operational as soon as possible following a fire.

Lexington, Mass. Oven Fire in Condo

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Lexington, Mass. Oven Fire in Condo A fire in one room usually causes soot damage in every room

Even a small kitchen fire may require a large cleaning effort to restore the dwelling and contents to preloss condition. Losses in condominiums have an extra layer of complexity when the insurance policy on the structure is separate from the policy for the contents.

Fortunately, our SERVPRO franchise has 35 years of experience negotiating the claims process and providing the documentation insurance carriers need for approval. We can keep the claims separate while restoring both the dwelling and its contents.

Oven Fire in Lexington Condo

Last fall, our franchise responded to a soot loss in a condominium unit caused by a fire in the oven on a Saturday. The homeowner had used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. In addition to the soot, the entire contents of the extinguisher were discharged, and the dust from the discharge entered the HVAC system and circulated into every room in the condo.

Air Quality Concerns

Particulates from the extinguisher discharge and soot posed a threat to inhabitants of the home. Our technicians set up a HEPA-filtered air filtration device over the weekend to collect airborne particles. We also installed a 4-optic hydroxyl generator and a dry vapor system to control odors.

Occupancy Concerns

The homeowners wished to remain in their home. Knowing the approval process can take some time, especially when dealing with two different insurance carriers, we performed some preliminary kitchen cleaning that weekend before receiving the approval. This permitted the homeowners to use their kitchen and have a replacement stove installed.

Cleaning Soot

After we received the proper approvals, our fire restoration technicians began the arduous process of cleaning every surface, fixture, and object in the affected rooms. Soot finds its way into every space air occupies, even remote corners of closets and cabinets.

The crew cleaned ceilings, walls, doors, windows, and floors. They cleaned every fixture, appliance, and hard-surface object in the home. They recommended sending soft goods like clothing to a restoration dry cleaner to remove all soot and odor.

Check Your Fire Extinguisher

This oven fire was much less destructive than it might have been because the homeowners had a working extinguisher they employed to knock the fire down quickly. You can increase your safety in a kitchen fire by checking your fire extinguishers to be sure they are operational.

Several Kidde extinguishers were recalled in 2017. If you have a Kidde fire extinguisher, you should compare it to those on this page to see if yours was one of the recalled devices.

Make sure all able adults in your home know how to operate your fire extinguishers and where they are located.

Children should not be permitted to operate fire extinguishers. Children are taught in school to flee fires and find help, and that advice should not be countered in the home.

After the Fire

If you should suffer an oven fire in your home, call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford for experienced professionals who will restore your home to preloss condition as quickly as possible. We are always “Here to Help.”

Flooded Office Building: Lexington, Mass.

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Flooded Office Building: Lexington, Mass. Saving the carpets following an office flood

When your commercial property floods, your primary concern is minimizing the cost to your business and any tenants. The faster you respond to a flood, the sooner you can be fully operational again.

Our franchise professionals make your business continuity our first concern following a loss. When you call us in for a flood in a commercial building, we will begin mitigation as quickly as possible and do our best to coordinate our efforts around your business needs.

Lexington Office Building Flood

Recently, our franchise responded to a water damage in the lower level of an occupied office building in Lexington, Mass. Heavy rain had caused the flooding, which affected the lower walls, contents, and flooring in the kitchen and lab.

Protect Inhabitants

We first installed a 500 HEPA-filtered air filtration device to collect airborne bacteria, spores, and particulates, so employees could safely continue working in the building during the water mitigation.

Three Day Drying Target

Our next concern was the carpets. If we cannot get carpets dry within three days, they are considered permanently contaminated and must be discarded. In order to salvage this carpet, we extracted water from the affected area, lifted the carpet to remove and discard the sodden pad beneath it, and applied a botanical anti-microbial product to the affected sub floor and carpet.

We used LGR dehumidifiers and axial air movers to accelerate evaporation. Once all affected rooms reached the dry standard, we cleaned the flooring.

Certified Professionals

Call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford when you have a flooded commercial building. We will work to salvage as much as we can and get your building back to full capacity quickly. All work will be performed by Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certified technicians, and in accordance with the IICRC S500 Standard for water damage.

Bedford, Mass: Who Watches Your Home When You Go on Vacation?

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Bedford, Mass: Who Watches Your Home When You Go on Vacation? Having someone check your home while you are away will help protect your building and contents

When you go out of town, do you have someone checking on your home? Does this person know where to shut off the water? Can you be reached if the heat is not working?

Who Watches Your Home, Bedford?

This month of holiday parties and prep often culminates in an out-of-town trip for Massachusetts residents. Before you head out of town this season, be sure you have someone watching your house for you.

Maybe you do not have pets and you are confident your plants will survive in your absence, but so many other things can go wrong. You can best protect your building and contents by having a responsible individual check in to ensure building systems are running as intended.

Broken Pipes and Hoses

You are probably aware of the need to protect your pipes when temperatures plummet in Bedford, Mass., but pipes, valves, and hoses can fail any time of year. Having someone check your home will help control the expense and the extent of damage if a pipe bursts or a hot water heater fails.

Heating Issues

When you are not home to realize the heat has stopped working, three days out of town can turn into weeks of disaster recovery. Regular visits while you are away will ensure you are alerted early to any service issues.

Also remember, you may have set the temperature in your home for 55 degrees when you left. Which may be warm enough for your pipes when the temperature outside stays above 25 degrees. However, when a cold snap rolls in, you should have someone visit your home and boost the thermostat when the temperature drops below 20. Otherwise, you could return to a water damage that requires a major rehab of the building.

Ready Plan Speeds up Recovery

Preparing a Ready Plan before you go out of town will ensure you have all the information in one place on your phone that you would need in the event of a building emergency. You can also share this plan with those you choose to check on your house while you are gone.

Water Damage Specialists

Here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we have been helping residents restore their homes and belongings for decades. Call us first for a water damage. We will make it “Like it Never Even Happened.”

Protect Your Home from Fire

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Protect Your Home from Fire An ounce of fire prevention is truly worth a pound of cure

As we head into the winter season in Middlesex County, we can expect to see residential fires on the rise. Statistically, January is the month in which the U.S. sees the highest percentage of house fires.

More Deadly Fires

Fires in the home cause great concern because although only eight percent of total fires occur in the home, they cause 23 percent of the injuries and 30 percent of the deaths. Of the deaths, about 60 percent occurred in homes with smoke alarms missing or not working.

Kitchen Fires

Cooking is the number one cause of fires in the home. You can protect your family by

  • Keeping combustible materials away from the stove and other cooking appliances
  • And monitoring children when they are cooking.

Malfunctioning Appliances

Short circuits and other appliance malfunctions also cause many house fires. Again, keeping flammable items away from space heaters and other appliances that get hot will help protect your home and family.

Never leave a space heater on when sleeping or not in the room with the heater. Unplug electric appliances when not in use.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Be sure to check your smoke detectors monthly and replace your batteries annually. You should also replace your detectors when they are ten years old or according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Fires happen, but many do not have to be fatal.

Call SERVPRO for Professional Fire Restoration

Should you have the misfortune to suffer a fire in your home, you can call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford anytime day or night at 781-861-0500 to speak with a caring individual who will help you start taking back your home. Our fire restoration technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification to provide professional restoration services according to industry standards.

We can dry wet materials, clean the soot, and filter harmful particulates out of the air. We will even deal with your insurance company to help them understand the scope of your loss. We want to be your first choice to make fire “Like it never even happened.”

Laundry Pipe Burst in Lexington, Mass.

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Laundry Pipe Burst in Lexington, Mass. Small leaks become large losses when no one is home.

Do you run your washing machine or dishwasher when you are not home? You might get away with this 999 times out of 1000. However, if a hose fails or a pipe bursts, the problem will likely get much worse in the time it takes you to return to your home.

Lexington, MA Pipe Burst

We were recently called to a colonial in Lexington, Mass. with a laundry closet on the second floor. The homeowners had started the washer before heading out for the day. Upon their return in the evening, they found a pipe leading to the washer had burst and three floors had water damage. Water had leaked from the laundry closet into the master bedroom and flowed down through the first floor into the basement.

This loss was much more expensive than it would have been had someone been home to hear the water flowing and shut off the water main until a plumber arrived to fix the pipe. Not only was the loss more expensive, but also more intrusive.

In order to dry the house quickly and avert microbial growth, we had to remove several floorboards in the master bedroom and drill holes in the living room wall. Which means these rooms also needed repairs once the house was dry.

Be Prepared

Here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we recommend every adult and responsible young adult knows where to shut off the water to the home in the event of a water emergency. Inspecting your washer hoses and replacing aging ones will also help prevent a problem. And running your dishwasher or washing machine only when someone is home is key to keeping a small leak from becoming a major flood.

Get It Dry

Of course, once the damage is done, you need to get your home dry as soon as possible to avoid mold growth. Call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford at the first sign of water intrusion. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

When a Property Inspector Finds Mold in Bedford, Mass.

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation When a Property Inspector Finds Mold in Bedford, Mass. Call our mold remediation specialists when a property inspector finds mold

You have so many balls to juggle when selling your Bedford home. You have to clean and make cosmetic repairs. Then you stage the living areas, schedule showings and open houses, and field the offers.

Finally, when you think you are in the homestretch, you hear the property inspector found mold.

Mold in Bedford, Mass.

Mold will make a real estate buyer nervous. You will likely need to remediate the outbreak before closing or the whole deal may fall apart.

At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we work with home sellers to remediate mold as quickly as possible. Most of the time, we are able to salvage the closing date as long as we are called in as soon as you know you have a problem.

Remediation Professionals

Home buyers trust our brand. They see our trucks and commercials. They know our applied microbial remediation specialists have the training and experience to properly contain the outbreak and remediate the mold growth. 

When you show your home buyers that you have trusted professionals on the job and resolving the issue, they will be reassured that they have chosen the right home from a responsible seller.

Save the Sale

Call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford when your property inspector finds mold in your Bedford home. We will do all we can to ensure you are clear to close on time.

Free Emergency Planning for Lexington, Mass. Businesses

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Free Emergency Planning for Lexington, Mass. Businesses If you fail to plan for your business surviving a disaster, you are planning to fail

Does your Lexington business have an emergency plan? If a pipe bursts in your building, do occupants know where to shut off the water until a plumber arrives? Can you quickly access all your emergency contact information no matter where you are? 

Free Emergency Planning in Lexington, MA

SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford offers a free Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business to ensure you are prepared for building disasters.

With our ERP, you will have the information you need to respond quickly and get back in business as soon as possible following a fire, flood, or other catastrophic event. 

Tag Utility Shutoffs

As part of the plan, we will tag your shutoffs for water, gas, electricity, and other key mechanical systems. We will also take a photo of each shutoff and note where to access it, so anyone reading the ERP can act fast when necessary.

Building Contacts

Building owners, facility manager, and human resources manager are among the key personnel you may need to contact quickly in an emergency. We gather all these primary contacts along with direct numbers for first responders and utility companies, so you have all the information you need in one place.

Key Partners

After a disaster, you may need to partner with several different organizations to restore and rebuild. We help you organize your preferred vendors ahead of time in a list that makes it easy for you to reach out and connect with them.

Mobile App

Once we have all the pertinent information and photos, we generate a hard copy report you can keep in your facility. We also store this emergency profile in a mobile app, so you always have the information available at your fingertips and can easily update information when appropriate.

You can request our services directly from the app, and you can easily share it via email with anyone else who needs the information during your disaster response.

Call for Your Free ERP

Our marketing team is available to create an ERP for your business. Call today to schedule a walkthrough of your facility, so you are prepared no matter what happens this winter.

Were Your Fire Extinguishers Recalled in Bedford, Mass.?

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Were Your Fire Extinguishers Recalled in Bedford, Mass.? Check your Kidde fire extinguishers to ensure they were not recalled last year

Last November, Kidde Fire Safety issued a recall on several models of fire extinguishers. We advise everyone check their fire extinguishers against the Kidde recall page to confirm that no recalled models remain in their facilities.

Bedford, MA: Check Extinguishers

The Kidde recall applies to certain models with plastic handles or push-button “pindicators”. Visit the recall page to verify whether or not your Kidde fire extinguishers are part of the recall.

Here are some other things to keep in mind regarding your equipment.

Regular Inspections

Fire extinguishers should be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Facility managers and/or owners should inspect them every month, and a licensed company should be called in to inspect and maintain them annually.

Employee Training

Like any equipment, extinguishers only work properly when handled by someone who knows how to use them. Safety training in your facility should include teaching the proper use of extinguishers.

You could also call in a fire safety company to train all employees at once. Just remember to train new employees as they come on board as well.

Fire Safety Provider

If you would like to connect with a local company that provides fire safety equipment, annual inspections, and training, call our office at 781-861-0500. We will refer you to the team we trust to maintain our equipment.

Plan Ahead To Survive Disasters

Up to 50 percent of businesses will not survive a catastrophic loss like a fire or flood. SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford offers a free Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) to help local businesses prepare in advance to recover quickly when things go wrong.

Please call us today to learn more about how an ERP can help your business be prepared.

Dental Office Fire Cleanup in Brookline, Mass.

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Dental Office Fire Cleanup in Brookline, Mass. We want to help you reopen ASAP following a fire

Who do you call when fire closes your business? You need so many things once you hear the all clear from the fire department:

  • Your building secured,
  • The soot removed from all surfaces,
  • Damaged building materials replaced,
  • Wet materials dried, and
  • HVAC ductwork cleaned.

And you need all these things as soon as possible so you can return to business.

Dental Office Fire Cleanup

When a midday fire all but destroyed a restaurant in a Brookline, Mass. plaza, our franchise offered restoration services to neighboring businesses. An adjacent dental office manager said we would get the job if we could guarantee the office would open the following morning.

The other restoration companies at the scene said we were crazy to take the job. They were sure we could not follow through and we would ruin our reputation by trying and failing.

However, we knew if our crews applied themselves and worked through the night, we could get meet the deadline.

Working Through the Night

As each crew finished their assignments for that day, we sent them to the dental office to pitch in and get the job done. They scrubbed soot from floors, walls, and fixtures. They cleaned ductwork. They removed and replaced ceiling tiles.

Four crews worked through the night. The next morning, that office opened on time and kept its commitment to patient appointments.

Hard To Believe

A competitor who had said the job could not be completed overnight was surprised when he stopped by a couple of days later to find the office open. He said we could not have completed the job so quickly. He suggested we must have misled the customer about the work we did.

Our competitor did not realize that the office manager had stayed on site and supervised our crews through the night. Our customer had no doubt we did what we said we would do in the time we said it would take.

Professionals Committed to Business

When you have a fire, any downtime threatens the life of your business. Employees who cannot work may find new jobs. Customers who depend on your goods and services may seek alternative suppliers. Lost revenue may affect capital investments, shareholder confidence, and the bottom line.

At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we understand the importance of time in commercial disaster response. We have committed fire restoration professionals who will make your loss “Like it never even happened.” Call us first when fire closes your doors and you need them opened again as soon as possible.

Can I Dry My Own Water Damage in Lexington, Mass.?

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Can I Dry My Own Water Damage in Lexington, Mass.? Call at the first sign of water damage in Lexington, Mass.

Can I Dry My Own Water Damage in Lexington, Mass.?

Lexington residents and business owners often wonder if they really need a restoration company to dry their water damage. They call and ask us if they can just set up a fan for a few days and everything will be fine.

Without seeing the water damage and assessing the extent of saturation, we cannot answer that question. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford offers free estimates that can set your mind at ease.

Here are the things we will consider:

What Kind of Water?

One big concern when cleaning and drying a water damage is whether the water is contaminated. If the water came from a sewer pipe or through the ground, it contains microbes and pollutants that pose a risk for building occupants.

Porous materials that have soaked up this contaminated water must be removed and discarded. No one can safely decontaminate carpets, drywall, insulation, and other porous building materials. 

How Much Water?

Your restoration needs will also depend on the amount of water and the saturation of the building materials. Even clean water will provide an excellent environment for microbial growth if it sits for over 48 hours.

Your goal following a water damage should be to get the building dry within three days. Our franchise professionals have a warehouse of fans and dehumidifiers available to meet your needs.

Can You See All the Water?

Many times, the water you see is only part of the problem. Water can seep down into the subfloor or behind the walls. This water you cannot see will lead to microbial growth and greater restoration costs.

Call SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford for a free estimate when you have a water damage. We will bring moisture meters that can detect hidden water and advise you on the proper response to get your building dry as soon as possible.

Summer Storm Safety in Bedford, Mass.

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Summer Storm Safety in Bedford, Mass. Thunderstorms can cause flash floods and other storm damage in a matter of minutes.

Many summer storms in Bedford, Mass. appear to arise out of nowhere. Sunny skies suddenly darken and fill with angry storm clouds. Within minutes a beautiful day gives way to torrential downpours that bring lightning, hail, and high winds

How does this happen?

Bright sunshine warms the air below. When the warm air below meets cool air above, the change in temperature creates clouds, rain, and an unsettled atmosphere. The same effect can be created when cool air blows in from the ocean or a cold front comes through the area.

Summer Storm Safety

Make no mistake: Summer thunderstorms are dangerous. Sudden downpours can overwhelm storm drain systems leading to flash flooding. You may have visibility issues while driving through the rain. Even the most experienced drivers may have to contend with other, inexperienced drivers on the road.

If you see a storm on the horizon while driving, consider finding a safe spot to park and wait out the violent weather.

Know the Forecast

Awareness is key to avoiding injury during summer storms. Check the weather forecast if you plan to spend time outdoors. Keep an eye on the sky and listen for weather alerts when thunderstorms are forecast.

Understand the difference between weather warnings and watches. A storm WARNING means that a storm is imminent in your area. A storm WATCH means a storm might be on the way.

Head Indoors

When you see lightning or hear thunder, it is time to head indoors for safety. Stay away from water as it is an excellent conductor of electricity.

Once inside, avoid taking a shower or running water. Do not talk on corded landline telephones as the electricity can travel through the line. Stay away from windows so you are safe from lightning strikes and blown debris.

Storm Damage Cleanup

After the storm, call SERVPRO if you experience flooding or other storm damage to your home or place of business. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Furnace Puff Back in Lincoln, Mass.

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Furnace Puff Back in Lincoln, Mass. Puff Backs Can Leave Harmful Residue on Surfaces and in Air

Aging homes in Massachusetts have aging heating systems. Some of the older systems are subject to malfunctions. When they break down, we have a situation often referred to as a “puff back.”

Lincoln Puff Back Clean up

For example, our franchise responded to a puff back in Lincoln, Mass. The furnace in a 1939 colonial had malfunctioned and forced soot throughout the home. Every object in every room of the house was covered with a fine film of soot.

Contacting the Adjuster

Our estimator arrived on site to assess the extent of the damage. He contacted the adjuster to obtain authorization for our services. He then presented the plan for restoration to the homeowner.

Cleaning All Surfaces

Soot is sneaky. The pressure of a puff back forces soot into the tiniest of openings. Homeowners are always surprised to find soot at the back of closed cabinets and behind the contents of closets. Following a fire or puff back, our certified Fire Restoration Technicians are tasked to wipe down every surface: walls, floors, ceilings, and fixtures, as well as all sides of all contents.

Clearing the Air

In addition to the deposits on all surfaces, a puff back also leaves chemicals and other particulates floating in the air. These byproducts may be hazardous and can cause odors to persist. For this Lincoln puff back, our crew installed three HEPA-filtered air filtration devices to scrub all the particulates out of the air.

Neutralizing Odors

Smoke odors penetrate porous materials that are difficult to clean on the surface. We employ an industrial odor-neutralizing system to eliminate lingering malodors. This machine uses a nontoxic dry vapor that penetrates everywhere the soot and smoke went. The vapor leaves a home with a pleasant aroma without damaging fabric, plants, or electronic devices.

Trust Professionals for Puff Backs

Attempting to clean soot with conventional cleaners may actually set the stains into your walls and furnishings. Additionally, the air in your home may not be healthy to breathe following a furnace malfunction. Even if you think you have cleaned successfully, you may experience an overpowering smoke odor the next time it rains.

Regular maintenance should keep your heating system functioning normally. However, if you experience a puff back, you should contact us as soon as possible. At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford we pride ourselves on making it “Like it never even happened.”

Attic Mold in Bedford, Mass.

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Attic Mold in Bedford, Mass. Attic mold should be remediated immediately, before heat and humidity encourage more blooming.

As the weather warms in New England, many homeowners find microbial growth in their attics. Water intrusions from ice dams or moisture diverted by bathroom vents to the attic can provide the humidity necessary for mold growth, and warm temperatures encourage microbial colonies to bloom.

Bedford Attic Mold

We were recently called to a single-family ranch in Bedford, Mass. that had an outbreak in a humid attic. Our estimator found visible microbial growth on all ceiling materials in the attic.

Containing the Outbreak

Before our technicians began remediating the mold, they set up moisture barriers to contain the infestation to the attic. They also laid down plywood on the rafters to better maneuver in the confined space and keep mold from the ceiling falling down into the insulation.

Remediating the Mold

Once the area was contained, our crew HEPA vacuumed affected surfaces to remove visible microbial growth and installed a HEPA-filtered air filtration device to scrub microbial spores and other particulates out of the air. They then applied a mold remediation solution to all surfaces.

Trust Certified Mold Professionals

At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we remediate mold using the Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) S520 Standard. Our technicians are IICRC-certified and will recommend the best course of action to remediate attic mold. They will also advise you on steps you can take to minimize humidity in your home and discourage future outbreaks.

Call us at the first sign of mold growth so we can help you breathe easier knowing the problem is contained and will be remediated.

Hot Water Tank Failure in Natick, Mass.

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hot Water Tank Failure in Natick, Mass. Hot Water Tank Failures Require Professional Drying

Hot water heater tanks hold a lot of water, over forty gallons in most household tanks. When the tank fails, all that water can flood to several inches in your home. Fortunately, your local SERVPRO franchise can help guide you through the process of contacting your insurance adjuster and drying your property in a timely manner.

Natick Hot Water Tank Failure

For example, we recently got a call from a Natick, Mass. resident at 6:00 p.m. He had just learned the hot water heater in his basement had failed. Fortunately, his basement was not finished, but he had several storage boxes on the cement floor that were now saturated with Category 2 water.

Free Estimate

This customer was out of town on the evening he called us, so we could not access the property until morning. Our estimator confirmed that a plumber had been called and the water shut off, and then he scheduled an appointment with the homeowner for the following day to conduct a walkthrough and assess the situation.  

Adjuster Permissions

Upon arrival the following day, our estimator determined that we could use fewer fans than normally recommended for that size area because the walls and floor were concrete and would not take as long to dry. He called the insurance adjuster and received permission to begin the job and place our equipment.

Two Day Drying

This job dried in two days using five fans and one LGR dehumidifier. The fans helped evaporate the moisture out of the concrete while the dehumidifier pulled the water vapor out of the air.

Many of the contents of the storage boxes were determined not to be salvageable after contamination with Category 2 water. However, the customer was satisfied with our efforts and gave us top scores on the customer satisfaction sheet at the end of the job. 

Call Professionals

Check out our hot water heater maintenance tips. We hope you never suffer a tank failure, but please do not hesitate to call us if you do. Anytime day or night, our water restoration professionals are available to help assess your situation, determine the best course of action, and expedite your return to normal.

Sump Pump Fails in Bedford, Mass.

4/10/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Sump Pump Fails in Bedford, Mass. Sump pump fails and floods basement

Here in New England, we were hammered hard with storms in the month of March. Downed trees, power outages, and localized flooding created headaches for much of Massachusetts.

Bedford, Mass. Sump Pump Fail

SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford was called to a sump pump failure in Bedford, Mass. The owner was out of the country, so we worked with his local agent.

Upon arrival at the home, we found the entire basement floor was wet and water had wicked up the walls. Fortunately, this was not a finished basement, so the loss was not as great to contents and flooring as we have seen for others.

Extraction and Prep

Our certified water damage restoration technicians suited up in personal protective equipment (PPE) and extracted all remaining Category 2 water. They set up a HEPA-filtered air filtration device to scrub particulates out of the air and applied a botanical anti-microbial product to the walls and floor.

Drying

To dry the area, our crew installed five axial air movers (fans) to speed up evaporation of water out of the affected walls and floor and an LGR dehumidifier to pull the moisture out of the air. The basement dried in three days, and the crew wrapped up the job by pressure washing the floor.

Flood Restoration Professionals

Our franchise has been serving Bedford for over thirty years. Our certified technicians have the tools and expertise to make your water damage, “Like it never even happened.”

Commercial Water Loss in Lexington Strip Mall

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Water Loss in Lexington Strip Mall When necessary, SERVPRO brings the heat

When the temperatures dip in our area, the pipes start bursting. No matter how many times we warn our clients about the importance of heating their properties, even the vacant ones, every year at least one property owner tries to save a few bucks and ends up spending tens of thousands for restoration.

Lexington, Mass. Strip Mall

At the end of the 2017, Massachusetts was gripped by a deep freeze where temperatures fell below ten degrees for six days in a row. After the first night of the deep freeze, we received a call from a landlord. The sprinkler system in one of his empty commercial units had a burst pipe that affected two of the units in the strip mall.

The water had saturated the main floor of both units and went down into the basement where it froze solid. The water also soaked the circuit breaker box, which left the units without power.

Heat and Power

Before our crew could begin drying this water loss, they had to set up a temporary heating system for the job site to heat the affected units and melt the ice, and they needed a generator to power our equipment. They used an exterior furnace for the main floor and a portable heating unit in the basement.

After the building warmed and the ice in the basement melted, our crew had to extract three inches of standing water from the basement. They also removed wet ceiling tiles and insulation that could not be salvaged and applied a plant-based anti-microbial product to discourage mold growth.

Drying and Restoration

Our crew set up 33 axial air movers (fans) and two LGR dehumidifiers, which took four days to dry the building. The last step was to pressure wash the floors.

Our work was done, but there were still repairs to the sprinkler, electrical, and heating systems and the installation of new insulation and ceiling tiles to be completed. We have to believe this landlord now understands the importance of keeping the heat on through the winter or winterizing the property to prevent burst pipes. 

Trust Professionals

Should your commercial property suffer a burst pipe, be sure to trust SERVPRO franchise professionals to properly dry the facility and protect you from the secondary effects of water damage, including electrocution or mold growth. Our crews have the training and certification to safely make it “Like It Never Even Happened.” 

New Year’s Weekend Pipe Burst in Lincoln, Mass.

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage New Year’s Weekend Pipe Burst in Lincoln, Mass. Many water losses require moisture barriers to prevent moisture and microbes traveling to unaffected areas.

What a year it has been already. Bomb cyclones and March nor’easters, along with the usual floods and freezes have had our crews scrambling to dry and restore homes and businesses in Middlesex County.

Pipe Burst in Lincoln

A good example is a burst pipe over the New Year’s holiday weekend. The pipe froze and burst in a single family home on December 30, 2017 in the middle of a six day cold snap of sub 10 degree nights. The resulting water damage affected the playroom, family room, and office of this Lincoln, Mass. home.

This Category 2, Class 4 water loss required extended drying days to dry the hardwood in place and avoid the added cost and inconvenience of demolition, asbestos testing, and rebuild. 

Drying the Water Loss

Our crew began by setting up containment for the affected rooms to keep the moisture from traveling to other parts of the home. They also applied a botanical anti-microbial product to discourage mold and other microbial growth.

Our crew then installed ten axial air movers (fans) to accelerate evaporation and three dehumidifiers to pull the moisture out of the air. Once drying was complete, they cleaned the floor to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Reduce Your Risk

You can reduce your risk of burst pipes by taking steps to avoid pipes freezing during our long New England winters. You can also minimize the disruption of storm events by planning ahead.

However, when all else fails, you can be sure SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford is here 24/7 to take your call and help you recover from burst pipes and other storm-related building disasters. 

Moldy Master Bath in Lexington, Mass.

2/23/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Moldy Master Bath in Lexington, Mass. Call for an estimate as soon as you suspect a mold outbreak

Many people associate mold with old homes and neglected spaces like attics and basements. However, mold can grow anywhere it finds the right balance of heat, moisture, and organic material to consume.

We were recently called to remove mold in a Lexington, Mass. home built in 2008. The shower in the master bath was built over a copper pan that allowed water to accumulate. This led to mold growth behind the tiles initially and eventually on the walls of bathroom.

At first glance, you might not have expected such a high end bathroom with separate shower and bath  could support a microbial outbreak. The house was clean, well maintained, and only ten years old. However, a building defect behind the walls created a perfect environment for fungal growth.

Contain the Outbreak

Our mold-certified crew began this job by securing the area and containing the contamination. They  installed a negative air machine to maintain pressure pushing into the barriers so that no contaminated air would escape. They also installed a dehumidifier to pull moisture from the air.

Remove Moldy Materials

Our technicians then removed the shower door and fixtures. They pulled out ceramic tiles to get to the wet drywall. They bagged up all the wet and contaminated drywall and used a HEPA-filtered vacuum to clean the studs, the floor, and any tiles that were not on wet drywall.

Discourage Future Microbes

After they were certain that all visible microbial growth had been removed, the mold remediation team applied a plant-based antimicrobial product to discourage future mold outbreaks. They also advised the homeowner to have the shower corrected to prevent water accumulation behind the tiles.

Mold Happens

Whenever water sits in or on organic material, it creates an ideal situation for fungal growth. This happens in old homes and new, in apartments, condos, and office buildings in every neighborhood in Massachusetts. When it happens to you, call in the mold professionals from SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford. We can make it, “Like it never even happened.”

Commercial Sewer Cleanup

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Sewer Cleanup Call SERVPRO to clean and sanitize following a sewer backup

If you manage a business property, nothing ruins your day quite like a sewer backup. The smell will chase customers away, and the risk of contamination may attract the health department for a surprise inspection.

You want the mess cleaned quickly and you need the reassurance of thorough sanitizing. Fortunately, SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford production technicians have the training and equipment to handle sewage safely.

Sewage in Retail Parking Lot

Our franchise took a call recently from a retail property manager in Bedford, Mass. Sewage had backed up into the parking lot leaving an area of about 1600 square feet of contamination. They needed someone onsite quickly to clean the mess and minimize the inconvenience for tenants and their clients.

We mobilized a team to extract the contaminated water from the parking lot. We then pressure washed the pavement to leave it, “Like it never even happened.”

Commercial Emergency Response

We are committed to commercial restoration services. Whether it’s a water damage in a dental office, a restaurant fire, or any other commercial cleaning job that requires immediate attention, you can count on SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford to make getting you back in business our highest priority.

Soot Cleaning in Lexington, Mass.

2/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Soot Cleaning in Lexington, Mass. Many homeowners make a soot job worse when they try to clean it themselves

Soot is a mess that requires professional cleaning. Soot not only contains ashes but also oily residue that makes it persistent. Depending on the materials burned, soot may also contain hazardous chemicals. Household cleaners may fix the soot into fabrics and wallcoverings. Even worse, soot particles are so small they can travel throughout a home and into every nook and cranny.

Here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we seek to educate everyone in our area about the perils of do-it-yourself soot cleanup. Still, some people insist on trying. 

Do Not Vacuum Soot

We recently received a call from a homeowner in Lexington, Mass. who tried to vacuum out her fireplace. The vacuum did not have a filter small enough to capture soot particles, so the homeowner wound up blowing the mess all over the first floor of the home.

This house has a forced hot air heating system, so the soot went in the intake grate, through the heating system, and out the ducts to any rooms the vacuum missed. Every surface of the house and its contents were covered in a thin layer of soot.

Call a Fire Restoration Tech

Our production technicians have the training and certification to properly clean soot the first time. Had we been called in originally, we would have set up containment to keep the mess in one room and used a HEPA-filtered vacuum to capture even the tiniest particles.

Instead, our fire restoration crew spent several days cleaning the walls, ceilings, floors and all of the contents in the home. The final bill was about ten times what it would have been had we been called in the first place.

When you have a sooty situation, call the professionals at 781-861-0500 for a free estimate. We can make it, “Like it never even happened.”

Removing Soot From Your Home

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Removing Soot From Your Home Trust Professionals to clean soot from your home

After a fire in your home, you will likely find soot everywhere. The heat of a fire pushes soot into every nook and cranny, deep into cupboards and closets coating every surface.

Do Not DIY

Some homeowners are tempted to clean the soot on their own. Do-it-yourself cleaning is not recommended following a fire. The soot particles are so small they can get behind walls and between floorboards. Even when surfaces appear clean, smoke smells can linger for years due these hidden particles. 

Another issue is the HVAC system. Soot will hide inside the ducts for heating or air conditioning systems. Once a homeowner believes the house is clean and turns on one of these systems, the soot in the ducts will once again blanket the house.

Consult a professional before you make your problems worse.

Fire Restoration Professionals

If you have a fire in your home, you should act fast to prevent further damage. Most importantly, you should trust the cleanup to fire restoration professionals with the training and experience to remove soot thoroughly the first time. They can show you what can be cleaned, what should be discarded, and when you can safely turn on your HVAC and electricity again. They can communicate the scope of your loss to your insurance company. 

At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we have over 33 years of experience responding to fire damages and removing soot for homeowners in Middlesex County. Our fire restoration technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, and they are on call 24/7 to respond quickly and secure your home if needed.

Trust SERVPRO for Soot Cleanup

We hope you never have a fire in your home, and we strive to educate homeowners about fire prevention. However, should you suffer a fire or puffback and you need soot removed from your home, you can trust our fire restoration technicians to make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Commercial Water Damage Response

12/27/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Water Damage Response Our crew will make your commercial water damage its highest priority

When a business suffers a water damage, the top question on the owner’s mind is usually, “How soon will I be back in business?” (Yes, “How much will this cost?” is a close second, but the total cost is usually tied to how much downtime the business suffers.)

At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we are sensitive to business needs. We understand the importance of getting back to work as soon as possible. 

The 1-4-8 Promise

SERVPRO offers commercial clients a 1-4-8 promise for emergency services.

  1. We will respond to a commercial emergency call within one hour.
  2. A crew will arrive onsite within four hours to begin mitigation services.
  3. Within eight business hours, a scope of the loss and estimate for restoration will be discussed with the insurer or property manager.

At our franchise, we average significantly better than the promise. Most calls are returned within twenty minutes. And we rarely need four hours to rally the troops.

Cold Weather Is Here

We have already had a tease of what winter holds for Lexington and Bedford this year, with an ice storm overnight December 23rd and snow storms on December 9th and 25th. Now we are bracing for several days of frigid temperatures. 

Frigid temperatures invariably lead to frozen pipes. Consider boosting the heat in your business overnight when the temperature dips below 10 degrees, and drip water from taps to keep the water moving. Check your buildings daily over the long weekend.  

If your Middlesex County business should suffer a water damage from frozen pipes, call our office as soon as possible. We can help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Holiday Fire Safety

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Holiday Fire Safety Protect your home and family from fires during the holidays

During this holiday season, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford would like you to exercise caution when staging your holiday décor and preparing holiday meals. Holiday decorations and food preparation are the culprits in many house fires that occur during November, December, and January.

Candles

Candles light up many events during the season. Unfortunately, candles also start 55 percent of home decoration fires in December. Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve are the top three days for house fires started by candles. 

Place candles carefully away from flammable items. Keep them out of reach of children and pets. If you cannot protect your candles from cats, consider using flameless candles for your celebration.

Christmas Trees

Approximately 200 house fires each year involve Christmas trees. More alarming is the fact that one in every 32 Christmas tree fires will result in death.

You lessen your risk when you:

  • Keep live trees watered
  • Inspect tree lights for exposed wiring
  • Replace old lights with newer, safer ones
  • Place candles and space heaters far from trees
  • Secure tree against tipping

Do not permit a situation where an active child or pet could knock over a tree and have it touch a lit candle or fireplace.

Cooking Holiday Dinners

The top three days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, the day before Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Hectic cooks trying to do too much, houseguests helping in unfamiliar kitchens, and decorations placed too close to cooking equipment all contribute to these fires.

Keep decorations and other flammable items away from cooking equipment. Take care when using slow cookers, roasting pans, and other cooking appliances. Place all cooking appliances where they cannot be knocked over. Do not use extension cords as they may not be rated for the appliance you are using and they can create tripping hazards that lead to burns and fires.

Happy Holidays

SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford wishes you all the best this holiday season. We hope your friends and family enjoy safe celebrations. Remember we are here 24/7 throughout the year to assist should disaster strike.

Avoid Washing Machine Hose Leaks

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Avoid Washing Machine Hose Leaks A bad washing machine hose could ruin your day.

Washing machine hoses are notorious in the restoration industry because washers often outlive their hoses. Most washers have a ten-year lifespan, but rubber hoses start failing at around five years.

When a washer’s hose fails, water can start pouring out of the hose at a rate of 650 gallons/hour. If you are not home to turn off the water main, you will quickly have a major water damage. Washers located aboveground will leak into living area. For apartment dwellers the risk is even greater as a loss from a washer in one unit may affect several adjacent or lower units.

Here are some tips to reduce the possibility of a washing machine hose leak and to minimize the damage should one occur.

Inspect Washer Hoses

Look for signs of corrosion and bulging areas in the hose to spot problems before they become floods. Replace the hose if you see signs of stress.

Replace Aging Washer Hoses

Most experts recommend replacing washing machine hoses every five years even if you do not see damage. If you have easy access to your washer and the area behind it, hose replacement is a simple task. 

Consider a Water Shutoff

Your plumber can install a simple water shutoff valve between your water source and the hoses. By shutting off the water when the washer is not in use--recommended by washing machine manufacturers--you will reduce pressure on the hoses and extend their life.

Stay Home While Washing

You may be tempted to dash out for a quick trip to the store while your washing machine runs through its cycle. However, if the hose fails while you are out, you face a much bigger water damage than if you had been home to cut off the water supply at the first sign of flooding.

Identify Water Shutoff

Be sure you and all responsible adults in your home know where to find the water shutoff. Keep the path to the shutoff clear at all times. You want to be able to respond quickly in the event of a washer hose failure.

Finally, remember SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford is available 24/7 in the event of a washing machine leak or other emergency water damage. Call 781-861-0500 to begin mitigating the problem and avoiding secondary damage like mold growth. 

No Renter’s Insurance in Lexington, Mass. House Fire

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage No Renter’s Insurance in Lexington, Mass. House Fire Your landlord's insurance does not cover your contents in a fire.

Do you rent a house or apartment? Do you have renter’s insurance? Unfortunately, our franchise is frequently called to the scene of fires where tenants do not have coverage for their contents. No coverage means they risk losing everything they value in the event of a fire or other catastrophe. Fires are always terrible, but fires without proper insurance are heartbreaking. 

Earlier this year, we were called to clean after a fire in a house in Lexington, Mass. A short circuit caused an oven range fire that affected the whole house, especially the kitchen. Heavy soot covered all surfaces and contents, including cabinet and closet interiors.

Owner’s Insurance

The property owner had insurance to cover the building. Our certified fire technicians were able to clean the soot off the ceiling, walls, and floors. However, we could only clean the exterior of the cabinets and closets, because the insurance company and property owner would only agree to pay for their areas of responsibility.

No Tenant’s Insurance

The tenant was on the hook for any contents cleaning, but the tenant did not have renter’s insurance to cover the contents. Without renter’s insurance, any destroyed items were a total loss for the tenant. Even worse, if the tenant did not have the right training and materials for soot removal, there is a good chance the tenant damaged items that could have been restored by an experienced fire restoration cleaner. 

Talk to Your Insurance Agent/Carrier

If you currently rent a house or apartment and you do not have renter’s insurance, please take the time to get a quote for this coverage. You will likely find the coverage is less expensive than you expected and well worth protecting everything you keep in your home.

Here at SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford, we are committed to restoring property following a fire or flood. Please consider carrying the right insurance coverage to ensure we are able to make your disaster "Like it never even happened."

Commercial Water Damage in Dental Office

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Commercial Water Damage in Dental Office We are committed to getting you back in business ASAP after a flood.

The seasons and elements do not care about your business. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford does care. We make it our highest priority to work with business owners to ensure the best outcome for their organization following an adverse weather event.

Flooded Dentist

We were called to a dental office in Lexington, Mass. last month. High winds and driving rains had created a roof leak overnight. Water traveled down through the ceiling, into the walls, and onto the carpeted floor. The business owner called us at noon the next day, and our production manager arrived on scene within an hour.

The challenge for the dentist was that due to the amount of water and saturation we could not possibly dry the office in a day. Usually a water damage takes about three days to fully dry. However, the dentist had appointments to keep and did not want to close the business for several days.

Immediate Mitigation

We agreed to bring an emergency crew out that evening to:

  • Extract water
  • Remove ceiling tiles and other contaminated building materials
  • Drill holes to allow drying inside walls
  • Create a drying chamber
  • Set up drying equipment including fans and dehumidifiers

These early mitigation steps minimized the damage and allowed the office to reopen the next day.

Patient Comfort vs. Drying Time

We explained to the dentist that our best advice was to run our equipment continuously for three days to complete the dry out in the least amount of time. The dentist insisted on turning off our equipment during office hours for the comfort of patients. This meant the drying would take at least four or five days, but the office could function during those days.

Satisfied Commercial Client

This water mitigation job was another great success for us. The dentist’s office opened the day after we were notified and the drying was completed within four days.

If your business suffers a water damage or other disaster, call the restoration team that works with commercial clients to get them back in business as soon as possible.

Basement Mold in Lexington, Mass

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Basement Mold in Lexington, Mass Treat mold as soon as you find it to save time and expense

No one likes mold growing in their home. Mold smells unclean, it looks terrible, it degrades organic building materials, and it may have health effects for the home’s inhabitants.

Mold in Basement Closet

Our franchise was called out recently to inspect a home in Lexington, Mass. because the owner thought he saw mold in the basement. Upon inspection, our production manager found surface microbial growth on the lower walls of a basement closet. He recommended cleaning and disinfecting the affected wall, but the homeowner requested that we go a step further and remove a section of drywall to be sure there was no hidden mold growth inside the wall.

Mold Remediation

Our technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in mold remediation, so they knew just what to do. They set up a barrier to prevent microbes traveling throughout the home. They installed a HEPA-filtered air scrubber to collect airborne particulates including microbial spores. They removed the affected drywall and inspected what they could see of the studs and framing inside the walls. 

After our technicians established there was no additional infestation in the walls, they cleaned and deodorized the basement carpet. The homeowner was pleased with the job they did. The basement smelled fresh and clean, all visible microbial growth was removed, and the air was filtered to extract any abundance of spores.

Call and schedule an estimate

If you find mold in a basement closet, call us for an estimate as soon as possible. Our IICRC-trained mold remediation technicians will help resolve the problem before it gets worse and more expensive to repair.

Commercial Duct Cleaning in Lexington, Mass

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Duct Cleaning in Lexington, Mass Call today for a free commercial air duct cleaning estimate

SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford offers duct cleaning services to businesses of all sizes in Lexington, Mass. We use a push-pull system, blowing from one end and vacuuming from the other while our brushes stir up debris stuck to the duct walls.

Why Clean the Ducts?

We recommend air duct cleaning to improve the quality of air for everyone in the building. Modern commercial buildings are designed to be airtight. This sealed environment prevents the loss of hot and cold air and saves on energy costs associated with these losses, but people in the building end up breathing the same air over and over. 

In addition, dust, dead skin cells, and microbes accumulate in the ducts. This buildup can provide a perfect home for mold if humidity ever rises in the building.

Finally, the buildup on the walls of the ducts can restrict air flow making your HVAC system run inefficiently.

Commercial Duct Cleaning - Free Estimates

Here at SERVPRO®, we provide free duct cleaning estimates. Call to schedule your estimate today at 781-861-0500. Your customers and employees will breathe easier when the air is clean. 

Is It Mold or Mildew?

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Is It Mold or Mildew? Trust SERVPRO mitigation specialists to combat mold or mildew

We recently took a call from a concerned resident in Bedford, Mass. Her family had relocated from out of state, and her leather couch arrived covered in microbial growth.

When she complained to the mover about the condition of her couch, the mover claimed to have hired an expert who determined that this was mildew and not mold on the couch. According to the mover, the couch owner had no reason to be concerned about mildew.

Here at SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford, we find that distinction laughable. Both mold and mildew are considered potentially hazardous by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, if you search “mildew” on their site, you will be directed to their mold pages. 

Mildew is Everywhere

Both mold and mildew are fungi. Both flourish in warm, damp conditions. And both are linked to upper respiratory tract symptoms in otherwise healthy people. 

You can never completely eliminate molds and mildews from your home. Their spores are everywhere, even in your refrigerator. The risk is when these microbes are permitted to grow to the point of visibility. They are then releasing a higher-than-normal amount of spores into the air.

Call in a Mitigation Specialist

If you see microbes growing on a porous surface in your home (drywall, for example), you do not need to spend extra money testing to find out which type of microbe is growing there. You need to hire a mitigation specialist who can contain the contamination, remove the microbial growth, and advise how to avoid its regrowth.

Call SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford at the first sign of mold or mildew.

Who Cleans a Hotel Tennis Court on Short Notice?

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Who Cleans a Hotel Tennis Court on Short Notice? SERVPRO Cleans Tennis Court in Time for Tournament

Here at SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford, we help out in all kinds of emergencies. A few years ago, we were called in to do emergency cleaning of a tennis court at a hotel in Bedford, Massachusetts.

Tennis Court Covered in Paint Dust

The day before a tennis tournament, someone painted the ceiling of an indoor tennis court without protecting the surface of the court. The paint spray created droplets which dried before they hit the ground, covering the court and the walls with a fine, white dust.

The manager explains her situation that morning in our testimonial video. She had a tournament starting that afternoon. “So when I walked in and I saw the condition of my tennis court, I panicked. This would have been a violation of the contract, and I really didn’t know what I was going to do at that point.”

Saving the Day and the Tournament

“Steve mobilized a team very, very quickly. It was just an amazing amount of work that had to be accomplished in a very short amount of time.”

Our franchise sent four crew members to HEPA vacuum and pressure wash the floors. Then they had to dry the court. They managed to complete the job just minutes before the teams arrived for the tournament. 

“I would absolutely recommend SERVPRO®. They’re a wonderful business partner.”

If you have a crisis that involves cleaning or restoration, partner with a team that has provided commercial services in Lexington, Mass. and Bedford, Mass. for over thirty years.

Mold Remediation in a Lincoln Attic

9/7/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Remediation in a Lincoln Attic Attic microbial growth before and after remediation

Mold grows wherever it has the proper combination of moisture, temperature, and organic matter. Attics are a common area of concern when they are not properly ventilated. Moisture and heat accumulate, and building materials provide food for the microbes.

Lincoln Attic Mold

Here at SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford, we frequently respond to calls regarding mold growth, particularly during humid summer months. In July, we were called to provide an estimate for the attic of a commercial building in Lincoln, Mass.

Upon arrival, our estimator found microbial growth on the wooden walls and ceiling of the attic. He then prepared an estimate for remediation, and the organization hired us to complete the job.

First Step – Contain the Contamination

The first step in a mold remediation job is to contain the area so that none of the spores get transferred to other parts of the building. We contained the contamination by setting up a barrier and using a negative air machine to draw air in without allowing it to flow out of the area.

Next step – Remove the Contaminants

This job involved HEPA vacuuming then cleaning the affected surfaces. We also used a HEPA-filtered air scrubber to remove airborne particulates including microbial spores and bacteria. With the negative air situation already established, we were able to cycle through all the air in the attic.

Final step – Apply Anti-Microbial Solution

We finished this mold remediation job by applying an all-natural anti-microbial solution to deter future microbial growth.

If you see mold in your attic, our certified technicians have the training and expertise to remediate the situation. We are always “Here to Help.”

Why a Brighton Pizza Shop Chose SERVPRO for Fire Restoration

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Why a Brighton Pizza Shop Chose SERVPRO for Fire Restoration Fires can shut down restaurants for days. Call SERVPRO to get back in business ASAP.

Fires can shut down restaurants for days. Soot must be removed from affected surfaces, fumes must be deodorized, and any water damage must be cleaned and dried.

Many city health departments will require a health inspection before allowing a restaurant to reopen after a fire.

Our franchise professionals have the experience and Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Certification (IICRC) certifications to properly assist restaurants in reopening as quickly as possible.

Time Is Money

When a restaurant is closed for a meal, every minute is lost revenue for the business. Most restaurants run on a slim margin and cannot recoup money lost when forced to close. Employees also suffer a loss when they cannot work.

At SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford, we make every effort to restore a business following a fire as soon as possible to reduce the financial impact on owners and employees.

Brighton Pizza Shop

Last spring, the exterior shingles on a Brighton, Mass. pizza shop caught fire during lunch, contaminating two levels of the restaurant. The Boston Board of Health closed the pizza shop until it could pass inspection.

The owner had only one question, “Can you have my shop ready for inspection tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.?”

Our IICRC-certified technicians worked into the night:

  • Cleaned all surfaces to remove soot
  • Deodorized with thermal fog
  • Scrubbed the air with HEPA-filtered devices
  • Cleaned the ducts and HVAC system

We also sent a crew to stand by during the health inspection in case the inspector raised any issues. The inspector was satisfied with the cleaning and deodorizing and permitted the restaurant to open the morning after the fire.

Hire SERVPRO for Fire Restoration

When your restaurant needs to get back in business quickly following a fire, call our office at 781-861-0500. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Building Safety

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

The International Code Council wants to keep people aware of "what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy-efficient homes and buildings."

Here are some tips they offer in regards to Disaster Safety & Mitigation:

  • If you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from windbourne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up
  • Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your home. Follow ICC/NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family
  • In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc) and coarse fuels (dead twigs, branches, etc.) within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks and walkways. Follow ICC's International Wildland-Urban Interface Code for detailed requirements. 
  • Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It only takes 6 inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle. 

Sump Pumps

5/3/2017 (Permalink)

During this past spring, we got to learn a bit about sump pumps!

Sump pumps are usually located in the basement of many properties, both residential and commercial. The purpose of the sump pump is to relocate water from flooding away from the property. What many of our customers experienced was due to the water tables being low and then rapidly rising due to the wet weather (rain and snow).

While there is no size disaster we cannot restore, it is important to know as a property owner what your insurance does and does NOT cover! While many of our customers were covered, some of them had no coverage at all because they never purchased a sump pump rider on top of the insurance policy! 

Make sure when you are purchasing a property and an insurance policy, that you are paying for an insurance that will cover all different attractions in you home. It's a true bummer to have damage to your property and then find out you have no coverage like you assumed!

Ways to prevent water and mold damage!

3/24/2017 (Permalink)

There are different ways that water can affect your property and if the mitigation is prolonged it can cause the building structure to become a food source for mold. Here are some precautions to take to try and avoid these kinds of damages to your property

Water System:

- Inspect water lines every 6 to 12 months for sinks, toilets, and tubs as well as home appliances such as washing and drying machine, dishwashers. Things to check for include cracks, looseness, and corrosion of pipes. If a leak is found, shut off the water to it until it can be fixed!

- During cold weather, allow water to run through the pipes as it minimizes the risks of pipes freezing and bursting.

Appliances:

- Replace the hose on your washing machine supply every five years and keep your machine properly balanced! When the washing machine is not in use – shut off the water!

- As tempting as it maybe, do not run water appliances when no one is home!

Roof & Gutters:

- While you can routinely check your roof and gutters, it is great to have a professional come every three years check your roof out for you. Keeping your gutters clear help water from entering your home and cluttered gutters promote mold!

- If the roof doesn’t have a drip edge or cap, consider installing one because it aids in capturing water into the gutters. Make sure the downspouts are not facing he foundation of the structure – try to buy extenders to get the water at least 6 feet away from your property

Other tips:

- Check your attic’s ventilation and insulation, seal gaps that allow warm air into the attic. We don’t want ice dams forming up there!

- Test your sump pump and the water pressure in the home.

- Always know where your water shut-off valve is in case of emergency!

 

The Roof is on Fire!

3/13/2017 (Permalink)

We’ve all done and said it. We have all “raised the roof” at some point because it was on metaphorical fire. But what does one do when it is literal? In non-musical proportions, this recently happened to one of our local businesses.  Boston Rhythmic, a rhythmic gymnastics school, had a fire in their Watertown location.  Their roof was literally on fire. Their sprinkler system managed to retard the fire from spreading but water damage ensued.

To paraphrase the owner of the company, she never thought she would face that type of disaster. Never her business. Water had spread at the back end of the facility and the bathrooms were nonfunctional by the time the restoration crew arrived.

It is at these types of circumstances that we are forced to respect the wisdom: better safe than sorry. SERVPRO offers Emergency Ready Profiles to give business owners peace of mind as they become disaster ready. ERP’s are a free service we provide to consolidate all building information to respond to any disaster, small or large. Whether it is knowing the where the electric shutoff is to your main building to have the property owner’s contact information, ERP’s allow SERVPRO to respond to your needs in a timely manner.

Why raise the roof when you can prepare for the fire? 

Prepare your Commercial property for a Hurricane!

3/1/2017 (Permalink)

Just 3 months ago, SERVPROs from all over the country headed to Virginia Beach and North Carolina to help residents and businesses affected by Hurricane Matthew. Commercial losses are just as important as residential ones and SERVPRO strives to get you back into business in a timely manner. We know how many factors go into getting your business back on track after a disaster so here are some things to take into consideration


Planning


- Review the property insurance with an insurance agent to determine concerns of a hurricane


- Write up some protective procedures for not only the structure of the business but also the contents


- Inform key employees of what their responsibilities are in regards to hurricane procedures and even try to set up an employee training program


- Consider having these protective tools on hand: heavy plastic sheeting, duct tape, masking tape, sandbags, an emergency generator, storm shutters, chain saw, large pieces of plywood and hand tools


- Make a plan for the protection of your computer files


Preparedness


- Monitor a local radio or television station that gives official emergency information and instructions


- Document the interior and the exterior of your business with pictures! This helps significantly with insurance claims


- Package insurance policies and financial records into waterproof containers so you have quick and accurate information to provide


Building Exterior


- Clean all the drains, gutters and downspouts of the property


- Remove antenna or loose objects from the room


- Bring in things that are usually left outside, remove outdoor signs and secure loose objects that can cause possible damage if there are strong winds


- If the property has glass frontage, clear the area as much as possible and board it up with shutters or wood. If you do not have shutters or boards, try masking or duct tape and tape the window in an “X” fashion to reduce shattering.


Building Interior


- Move things away from the windows to avoid water damage


- Clear flat surfaces of small loose objects and take down all loosely secured pictures, plaques


- Relocate files, boxes, computers, office machines and other equipment to the driest place in the building. Try not to leave boxes on the floor and remove contents within lower file cabinet drawers to a secure location


- Try to keep an inventory of where all things were relocated so when it is time to unpack you’re saving time!


- Disconnect electronics and equipment and try to secure with tarpaulins and tape.


 


Last but not least, do not hesitate to contact your local SERVPRO. We are faster to any sized disaster and there is no loss we cannot handle!

To Mold or Not to Mold

2/23/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation To Mold or Not to Mold Here's one of our 1000 CFM AFD's doing its job as we remediated a kitchen full of mold!

There is mold everywhere!

While some molds can affect our health - there are molds that we benefit from! Molds can be used for medicines, for foods and wines (we all know someone who loves that extra stinky cheese) and molds biggest contribution is bio-degradation in the environment!

Mold turns into "bad mold" when it is on a sustainable food source and for many properties owners they can go months without noticing mold until they smell it - especially in the warmer months of the year! Most building materials (drywall, wood framing, wood sub flooring, debris, contents) act as hosts for these "bad" molds and when it is not remediated properly the problem can continue.

SERVPRO uses Air Scrubbers during Mold Remediations as a mean to collect airborne mold spores, bacteria and other debris. 

PASS the Fire!

1/20/2017 (Permalink)

Fires aren't something we come across too often but once they start they can become massive. Portable fire extinguishers aid in being a life and property saving tool. The NFPA (The National Fire Protection Association hopes the word PASS will help people remember how to properly use a fire extinguisher

Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire. 

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. 

Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side

 

Reading the instructions on the extinguisher and familiarizing yourself with one helps you prepare incase a fire breaks out. There are limitations to fire extinguishers so it is important that you have the correct type and use them for the correct purposes! If you need more help on finding the appropriate extinguisher visit www.NFPA.org

SERVPRO Water Mitigation Process

12/5/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Cleanup & Restoration

SERVPRO can provide a solution to your property's (regardless of whether it's your home or business) water damage needs.

- Uniformed Franchise Professionals will arrive on-site usually within four hours of notification to begin providing a resolution to the water damage situation

- Technicians communicate their assessment with the property manager or owner in detail before beginning the cleanup and restoration process

- Franchise Professionals utilize industry guidelines, knowledge, training and industrial equipment to examine the extent of the damage

- Restoration services include moisture detection, water extraction, dehumidification and contents inventory

- Closing the event work order in a timely manner through electronic claims reporting, consistent communication and professional restoration techniques

- SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, no matter rain, hail or snow

Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Killer

11/28/2016 (Permalink)

You can't see or smell carbon dioxide, but at high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. CO is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas and propane burn incompletely. An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or idling cars left running in garages. 

Taking some basic , precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves, inspected by a trained professional every year
  • Open the damper for proper ventilation before using the fireplace
  • Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home
  • Make sure all fuel-burning vented equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice or other materials
  • Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris
  • Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home. 

Improving Air Quality

11/18/2016 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process

  • The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins. 
  • Next, a powerful push-pulll air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt. 

Call us at 781-647-9100 to see how we can best improve your home or businesses air quality. We can make it "Like it never even happened."

What is Lurking in Your Air Ducts?

11/18/2016 (Permalink)

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority.

In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirt ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home. In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. 

Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money. SERVPRO can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage conditions. 

  • We provide written inspections and estimates
  • Eliminate offensive odors
  • Restore peak energy efficiency
  • Reduce potential for mold growth
  • Remediate bacteria, fungi and mold

Post-Construction Cleanup

11/18/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO does services outside of water and fire mitigation restoration! Structural integrity materials, labor safety, customer satisfaction and deadlines - the list goes on when building a commercial facility. The bottom line, however, is you are responsible for getting the doors open on time.

Once the floors are down and the drywall is up, it's time to remove the debris and dirt in order to lay carpet, paint and decorate. SERVPRO can provide debris removal services to prepare the building for interior design. 

During the construction phase, a building can trap moisture and excessive moisture can result in mold growth. SERVPRO can help eliminate moisture and prevent potential mold growth. 

Post Construction Services we provide:

  • Carpet, resilient and non-resilient floor prep and finish
  • Ceilings, walls and fixture cleaning
  • Deodorization
  • Air Duct Cleaning
  • Debris Removal (if necessary)
  • Window Cleaning

Mold - Don't Let It Grow!

11/18/2016 (Permalink)

While fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment and can add value to our lives (such as yeast, blue cheese, mushrooms and penicillin), other forms of mold can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to mold may present health concerns for some people.

Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increase risk of harmful mold growth. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish.

Be alert for:

  • The presence of visible mold
  • Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth
  •  Excessive humidity

Help is here, if you think you might have a mold problem call us at 781-647-9100

Your Business & Indoor Air Quality

11/17/2016 (Permalink)

Did you know that healthier air saves you money?

Sick building syndrome became apparent as groups of people displayed similar symptoms after having spent extended periods of time in buildings with poor air quality. While mold is naturally found in the environment, an abundance of mold can cause illnesses and SERVPRO recommends it needs to be removed immediately.

The World Health Organization says that poor indoor air quality costs $60 billion in employee sick leave and lost production. As a business owner, your responsibility is to provide proper maintenance and prompt response to any situation that could cause illness or health concerns. 

You have one chance to make a first impression with your customers. SERVPRO can create a clean, fresh and long lasting impression by providing carpet cleanings, general structure cleanings, upholstery cleanings, HVAC & air duct systems.

Plan To STAY In Business

11/17/2016 (Permalink)

Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes. As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster. 

Step 1: Plan to stay in business

Step 2: Encourage your people to become Ready

Step 3: Protect your investment

Tips to help your business be Ready:

  • Update and Distribute Emergency Contact information to your Employees
    • Additionally, you can create and distribute a list of important emergency numbers in the areas you do business.
  • Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company's emergency plan.
  • Conduct Office Evacuation/Shelter-in-Place Exercises and Drills.
    • Once completed, evaluate how well they worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
  • Put Emergency Items on Display
    • Showcase an Emergency Supply Kit in your break room or other high-traffic locations and encourage employees to get their Emergency Supply Kits for their homes. 

Fire, Smoke & Soot Restoration Services

10/12/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help provide a solution to your property's fire damage needs. 

Structural Cleaning 

After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. A SERVPRO Franchise Professional will pretest to determine the extent of damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your facility. Depending on the amount of soot, the local SERVPRO Franchise Professional may even be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense incurred with repainting or refinishing.

Contents Cleaning

 All of the tolerable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This included area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. Finally, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items if requested. 

Deodorization 

 SERVPRO Franchise Professionals provide specialized services that rid your place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. 

Fire and Smoke Do's and Dont's

10/4/2016 (Permalink)

Do: 

  • Limit the movement in the house to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork
  • Place dry, colorfast towels on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open
  • Clean soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances and protect with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil 
  • Pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls, and tubs if heat is off during the freezing season
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants
  • Change HVAC filter
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system

Don't:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc...) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service 
  • Consume any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water (They may be contaminated)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged
  • Send Garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor

Know your Smoke

10/4/2016 (Permalink)

A fire loss is very complex because of the unique behavior of smoke. That is why is it important to have trained technicians at your home or business. 

Smoke Characteristics

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas
  • Smoke migrates to upper levels of a structure
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor
  • The type of smoke will greatly affect the restoration process

Types of Smoke

  • Wet SmokePlastics and Rubbers
    • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean
  • Dry Smoke - Paper and Wood
    • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises
  • Protein Fire Residue - Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
    • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor
  • Fuel Oil Soot -  Furnace Puff Backs
    • While "puff backs" can create havoc for your insured, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can in most cases restore the contents and structure
  • Other Types - Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue
    • Special loss situations require special care. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to handle your toughest losses!

Defending Against Mold Growth

9/30/2016 (Permalink)

A water damage can result in visible mold growth in as little as 24 to 48 hours, under certain conditions if not properly mitigated.

  • Keep humidity between 30 to 60 percent
  • Provide for proper drainage away from building foundations
  • Regularly inspect plumbing and appliances for leaks
  • Keep gutters and drains clear of debris 
  • Inspect the roof, windows and other areas where water might enter the building, and perform necessary maintenance
  • Respond to all water intrusions immediately
  • Contact your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional for assistance after a water damage or if you discover mold

Not only does mold have the ability to deteriorate your home but it can also have horrible affects on your personal health. Make sure to reach out to your local SERVPRO if you are facing mold and mildew issues.

"Like it never even happened."

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

9/30/2016 (Permalink)

Fires are scary monsters whose's flames can engulf a home in under 5 minutes. In case you ever face a fire here are some tips to stay safe:

  • Keep hands clean
  • Limit movement in the home to prevent further damage
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling 
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open
  • Wipe soot from chrome on faucets and appliances then protect with a light coating of lubricant
  • Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO® Franchise Professional
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water without consulting a repair service 

Emergency Water Damage Tips

9/30/2016 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen in many ways to your home or business. These are SERVPRO recommended tips for clean water situations only:

  • Shut off the water source if possible
  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs
  • Hang furs and leather goods separately at room temperature
  • Remove Oriental or other colored rugs from wet carpeting
  • Do not use regular vacuum to remove water
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of areas where ceilings are sagging from retained water
  • Do not leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpeting

Make sure you give us a call at 781-647-9100 if you ever experience a water damage to your home or business!

Samantha's Cheesy Baked Mac & Cheese

9/26/2016 (Permalink)

Community Samantha's Cheesy Baked Mac & Cheese Photo from Serious Eats

Office Administrator and Marketing Coordinator Samantha knows her way around the kitchen since her mother is a chef. Samantha loves cooking, eating soul food and sharing it with others. Besides, who can turn down a great baked mac and cheese?! Check out this yummy recipe!

1 package of macaroni elbows

2 tablespoons of butter

1 can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 egg

2 cups of milk

2 cups of Kraft shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

2 cups of Kraft shredded Sharp White Cheddar Cheese

Salt and pepper for taste

Breadcrumbs optional for topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish
  2. In a large pot of salted water, boil macaroni for 7 mins and then drain in strainer. Then move macaroni elbows into 2-quar baking dish
  3. In a medium pot on low heat combine melted butter, 1 can of cream of mushroom, 1 egg and 2 cups of milk. Stir until all ingredients are smooth. Then add in 1 ½ cups of Sharp Cheddar Cheese and 1 ½ cups of Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
  4. When sauce is completely whisked together, empty into 2-quart baking dish containing macaroni. Stir the mixture evenly so all macaroni becomes cheesy
  5. Using remaining cheese, spread over the top of the dish
  6. Bake uncovered for 25-30 mins
  7. Enjoy your cheesy baked mac and cheese!

Kristen's Simply Amazing Bar Cookies

8/29/2016 (Permalink)

Community Kristen's Simply Amazing Bar Cookies Photo Compliments of Eagle Brand Recipes

I like to call these bar cookies simply amazing because they are simple to make and the end result is amazing. These treats are so versatile and indulgent. You can top these bars with a variety of toppings such as candies, chocolate, coconut and nuts, or all of the above. Be creative and try out all of your favorite combinations to satisfy every sweet tooth you know.

Ingredients:

1 ½-2 cups Graham crackers or crumbs

1 can condensed milk, I prefer Eagle Brand®

1 stick of melted butter

Toppings of your choice

Preheat oven to 350°

Spray bottom of 13x9 glass baking dish with non-stick spray.

Crush graham crackers to a preferred texture or use pre-crushed crumbs.

Mix crumbs with melted butter and press mixture into the bottom of baking dish.

Drizzle top with condensed milk, allowing it to spread evenly over the mixture.

Top with your choice of toppings.  My kids love chocolate and butterscotch chips.  

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool completely.

Using a pizza cutter, cut the cookies into bars. 

Store left over cookies in refrigerator.

Lisa's Recipe For The Perfect Chili

7/27/2016 (Permalink)

General Lisa's Recipe For The Perfect Chili Lisa's Chili

Office Administrator, Lisa Daiute grew up eating this savory Chili made by her favorite uncle David. Throughout the years she has continued this delicious tradition in her own home, making it for her roommates and family. 

The Perfect Chili Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup masa harina (corn flour, found in the Mexican food section of many supermarkets)
  • One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded Cheddar, for serving
  • Chopped onions, for serving
  • Tortilla chips, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Directions:

Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess fat, and then pour in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water at a time as needed.

After an hour, place the masa harina in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup water and stir together with a fork. Dump the masa mixture into the chili. Stir together well, and then taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more masa paste and /or water to get the chili to your preferred consistency, or to add more corn flavor. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with shredded Cheddar, chopped onions, tortilla chips and lime wedges.

Team Bedford for the win, AGAIN!

7/26/2016 (Permalink)

Community Team Bedford for the win, AGAIN! Team Bedford, lead by marketing rep. Amanda Aiken.

Saturday, July 23

Team Bedford & Team Lexington went head to head in a softball tournament to see which team would win the trophy for the 3rd Annual SERVPRO Softball Event. 

Local business owners, supportors, and sponsors came out to play Saturday morning bringing non perishable food items to donate to our local food pantry. This is our third year putting together a softball event and every year they just keep getting better. Last year Team Bedford won the trophy and this year we would like to say congrats to Team Bedford on being the victors, they were lead by Marketing Representative and Team Captain, Amanda Aiken! Team Bedford won 15-5. Better luck next year Team Lexington. We already can not wait for next summers tournament, will Team Lexington finally defeat Team Bedford? Stay tuned. 

Team Watertown are the Champs! Now it's just up to team Lexington to take home the trophy on 7/23/16

7/19/2016 (Permalink)

Community Team Watertown are the Champs! Now it's just up to team Lexington to take home the trophy on 7/23/16 Team Watertown takes home the winning trophy

Satuday, July 16

Team Watertown and Team Waltham from our Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland franchise went head to head in a softball match at Arsenal Park in Watertown to see who would take home the Softball Champion Trophy. The victor's this past weekend were Team Watertown! Congrats team! Our Marketing Representative's Vanessa Vicente and Amanda Aiken were the team captains who lead their team to victory. It was a great turn out last weekend especially for it being our first annual Waltham vs. Watertown game. Can't wait for next year.

Saturday, July 23

We will be hosting our 3rd Annual Lexington vs. Bedford Softball game at Springs Brook Park in Bedford. Last year team Bedford took home the trophy, this year will it be team Lexington? May the best team win! Stay tuned.

Emergency Trauma Cleanup

5/19/2016 (Permalink)

Biohazard Emergency Trauma Cleanup Trauma, Crime scene clean-up.

At SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford, our goal is to provide an emergency response whenever we are needed. Emergency situations include:

  • Standing water to be extracted (especially sewage)
  • Fire scene that needs to be secured
  • Biohazard

We have a production manager and crew on call through the night and over the weekend in order to respond to these emergencies as they arise.

Evening Trauma Scene

For example, a local property manager recently called us to a trauma scene at the end of the workday. Her tenant had fallen down a flight of stairs and through a plate glass window. Upon arrival, Production Manager Tim Owens found a mess of glass and blood that needed immediate attention. This situation presented not only a health risk for building occupants but also a horrific scene for them to observe.

After confirming the police investigation was complete, our crew began cleaning the debris and safely disposing of it as a biohazard. Instead of heading home for dinner with their families, they donned their personal protective equipment and contained all of the debris for proper disposal. This task lasted until nearly midnight, but our crew managed to get the site sanitized and safe for occupation.

Call Us Any Time, 24/7

Remember to call SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford whenever you have a flood, a fire, or a bodily trauma scene requiring immediate attention. Our professionals are always here to help make it…Like it never even happened.®

SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford will be hosting a Lexington vs. Bedford softball game on Saturday, July 23, 2016

5/19/2016 (Permalink)

General SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford will be hosting a Lexington vs. Bedford softball game on Saturday, July 23, 2016 Flyer for the event.

SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford will be hosting a Lexington vs. Bedford softball game on Saturday, July 23, 2016 to benefit local food pantries. We are looking for sponsors and players. 

PLAY BALL!

We will be playing at the Springs Brook Park, 181 Springs Rd., Bedford, Mass. Warm-ups will begin at 9:00 am and then the game starts at 10:00 am. All players are asked to bring a glove and a non-perishable food item that we will donate to a local food pantry.

Each player will receive a t-shirt, and SERVPRO® will serve hot dogs and chips after the game. Players are encouraged to bring their families and enjoy the picnic! 

In addition to bragging rights, a trophy will be awarded to the Chamber of Commerce in the winning community.

If you would like to play, please contact Maria Aguirre at 781-861-0500 for more information.

Sponsorships

We are also looking for sponsors for the game. Sponsorships cost $50. Sponsors logos will be printed on the players’ t-shirts, and sponsors are welcome to bring a tent and pass out marketing materials at the game.

If you would like to be a sponsor, please make your check payable to Maria Aguirre and mail it to 50 Sun St. Ste. 1, Waltham, Mass. 02453. We must receive payment by July 15, 2016 to include your logo on the t-shirts.

Please Join Us

The SERVPRO® of Lexington-Bedford franchise has hosted a Lexington vs. Bedford game the past two years that has been a lot of fun. Lexington won the first year, and last year was Bedford’s turn to dominate. Now that we are also the SERVPRO® of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland franchise, we are looking forward to establishing a rivalry between Waltham and Watertown as well.   

If you have any questions about playing or sponsoring the game, please call 781-861-0500 and speak to Maria. Click here ==> Softball List to be added to our email list and receive updates.

Little Red Heaven

2/1/2016 (Permalink)

Community Little Red Heaven Valentine's Day Little Red Heaven

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets

Combine in a large bowl:

Red Velvet Cake Mix

2 Eggs

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

2 Teaspoons of Lemon Juice

Blend with a wooden spoon until smooth

Combine in a small bowl 

8 ounces of cream Cheese

1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/2 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of all purpose flour

Blend until smooth

Shape dough into 1 inch ball

Flatten in the palm of your hand 

Dab cream cheese into the center of the dough

Roll the dough so it goes around the cream cheese and reforms into a ball.

Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets

Bake 8 to 9 minutes, until the edges are set.

Storm Team has arrived!

2/20/2015 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Team has arrived! Locally Owned and Operated

Ice dams and burst pipes are making this the most disastrous winter in our SERVPRO history. We have been inundated with calls for both issues due to the extreme snow and cold temperatures. However, what sets SERVPRO apart is our ability to mobilize and work together all across this country whenever an event like this happens. We have Storm Team here to assist is loss mitigation so please keep calling us and 1-800-SERVPRO.

SERVPRO of Lexington/Bedford Moves to Waltham

1/19/2015 (Permalink)

General SERVPRO of Lexington/Bedford Moves to Waltham Garage space at SERVPRO's new location.

SERVPRO of Lexington/Bedford has been serving Massachussets for over 30 years and has recently purchased the SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland franchise. The office location will be moved to 50A Sun Street in Waltham, MA on February 1, 2015! The office is located close to the downtown area of Waltham and is over 10,000 square feet. An open house will be planed for the Summer of 2015.

SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford's 30th Anniversary Party

5/2/2014 (Permalink)

Please celerbrate with us!

September 9th 2014

Double Tree Hotel - Bedford

5:15pm to 7:15pm

The Taylor Family purchased the franchise in 1984 with the goal of helping people with homes or businesses that had fire, water or mold damage. " In the past 30 years we are proud to have helped thousands of customers "

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