Recent Storm Damage Posts
Thunderstorms Cause Unexpected Flooding
Thunderstorms cause local floods
Scattered summer thunderstorms blew through Bedford and Lexington over the weekend.
Many neighboring towns saw only sunshine, but in those areas that experienced the storms, the rainfall was intense and overwhelming.
Office Building Floods
An office building in Burlington, Mass. experienced an unexpected flood as a result of torrential rains on Saturday.
The building owner said he watched the water quickly rise several inches above the ground level door jamb and start pouring into the building. The water flowed behind the walls and soaked an office carpet.
Water has not flowed in through this door in past storms, so the building owner suspects that a clogged underground drainpipe leading to a catch basin backed up.
He plans to repair the drainage to prevent future floods, but this goes to show flooding can happen anywhere, even on lots with preventive systems in place.
Importance of Drying
The owner thought he contained the problem by mopping up behind the flood, but several days later his tenant complained of a musty smell in the office.
Drying out porous materials like carpet and drywall is key to preventing microbial growth, so we are sending a crew to apply a botanical anti-microbial solution and set up fans and a dehumidifier to completely dry the area.
Emergency Ready Plan
In addition, our marketing team is working with the building owner to create an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) to expedite his disaster response if something should go wrong in the future.
Call the Professionals
When thunderstorms strike in our area, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford and of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland is available around the clock to respond to your flood emergency.
Our professional water damage restoration crews will get your building dry the first time and discourage further damage from mold and other microbes.
Waltham, Mass: Be Prepared with the Ready Plan App
Be Prepared with the Ready Plan App
Every season in New England has its challenging weather systems. Summer thunderstorms give way to tropical storms that find their way north in the fall. Winter brings cold blasts, snowfall, and even bomb cyclones.
No matter what time of year, you can be prepared for building disasters by planning ahead.
The SERVPRO® Ready Plan App (App Store or Google Play) is a great, free tool for creating an emergency plan for any building. At SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford & of Waltham / Weston / Watertown / Wayland, we urge all facility managers and homeowners to create plans for their buildings.
Many clients tell us the water main shutoff is the most important information in our Ready Plan.
When you have a burst pipe or hot water heater failure, cutting off the water supply is the first step in mitigating the water damage. If you have to wait for a plumber to arrive and show you the water shutoff, you will have a much bigger problem—to the tune of thousands of dollars—than if you had shut off the water main immediately.
The SERVPRO Ready Plan App will walk you through finding and photographing all of your critical utility shutoffs, so you know where they are when you need them.
The Ready Plan also requests key contact information so you can store phone numbers, email addresses, even account numbers of critical emergency contacts including those for:
- Non-emergency Police and Fire numbers
You can customize the contacts and include any information you know you might need, all in one place on your phone.
Easy to Share
By storing this information in the Ready Plan App, you will also be able to quickly share it with others—like a house sitter or dog walker—and keep small problems from becoming major disasters.
All your information is password protected. This is your tool for your preparation and protection.
Check out the SERVPRO Ready Plan today to be prepared all winter long. Of course, should something go wrong and you need a quality restoration company, we are available 24/7 to handle your building emergency at 781-647-9100.
Flooding Safety in Bedford, MA
Floods and What You Should Know
Summer storms pose a risk for floods. When floods damage your property, repairs will not be covered by your homeowner's insurance.
There are many ways you can prepare and protect your property from a flood.
How to Prepare
To start, you can prepare your property for any potential danger by creating an Emergency Ready Profile. Having an ERP allows you to have peace of mind and also allows us to quickly mitigate any damage caused by a flood.
FEMA has some great tips on how to stay safe during a flood.
-Gather supplies in case you have to abruptly leave your property
-Declutter drains and gutters in or around your property
-Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters
-Move to higher ground or floor if you cannot evacuate
Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.
Did you know standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover flooding? To make a claim you must have coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
It is important to know the types of flood risk in your area and to sign up for your community's warning system. Floods can occur with little to no warning and develop quickly. Just six inches of water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
It's always best to think ahead so if this natural disaster occurs in your area, you are prepared.
Flood Damage Restoration
Flood damage that cannot be avoided can often be minimized with the proper water damage response. Our emergency crews are available to dry and restore your property should your home or office suffer a flood.
Call as soon as possible to begin water damage restoration
Lightning Safety in Lexington, MA
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
-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.
SERVPRO Prepares Lexington, MA For Any Size Disaster
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Drain all water from your building systems.
- 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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.