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3 Tips To Prepare Your Business For a Disaster

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded carpet, flooded building, standing water. Concept of flood damage on commercial building Commercial flooding in Hingham, MA.

Tips To Prepare A Disaster Plan For Your Business

A natural disaster can strike with little or no warning, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Catastrophic events can be particularly devastating for business owners. While no one can completely prevent disasters from occurring, having a solid disaster preparedness plan in place for your business can go a long way to keep your employees safe, reduce your repair and remediation costs, and minimize your overall loss. Try these tips to establish a disaster plan for your business.

1. Understand Your Risks
Most businesses are at a greater risk for some types of disasters than others. The weather patterns in  Hingham, MA, are a key factor in assessing your disaster risk and understanding whether your business is more or less likely to experience a weather disaster such as a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or blizzard. In addition to weather, be aware of the risk factors that are unique to your business property. A restaurant, for example, might have a greater fire risk than an attorney’s office. Some businesses have a primary interest in safeguarding data while protecting inventory is a major concern for others. Knowing your business’s risks and vulnerabilities is key to creating a disaster preparedness plan.

2. Plan and Practice
Create a business preparedness plan that includes:

  • How and when to evacuate, including the route and meeting place
  • Procedures for backing up, shutting down, or transporting files and equipment
  • Role assignments, such as evacuation leader or first aid provider (make sure each assigned person is comfortable with his or her duties)

You may need multiple plans for different types of disasters.

3. Keep Emergency Contacts Handy
Compile a list of contact information for anyone you might need to contact immediately after a disaster, such as emergency responders, insurance agents, property managers, and contractors. Include phone numbers, email addresses, your policy numbers, and any other important information. Keep a copy in the business, a copy in your phone, and a copy in your vehicle.
Creating a disaster preparedness plan takes some effort, but the rewards will be well worth the effort if a disaster hits your property.

3 Tips for Making a Family Fire Escape Plan

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke detectors on evacuation plans Prepare your family and yourself in case of a fire in your home.

3 Tips for Making a Family Fire Escape Plan

In the event that a fire occurs in your family's Weymouth Landing, MA, home, it's paramount that you know what you're doing. Everyone needs to be able to exit the house swiftly. In fact, you should only call 9-1-1 and find a fire restoration service once you're safe. So, here are three tips for making a family fire escape plan.

1. Inspect Your Home
The first and most essential step to take when making an escape plan is to inspect your home. Gather everyone that's mobile and take a walk around your house. Look for multiple ways to exit your home from each room. You should also mark every location of the following:

  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Smoke Alarms

Complete this step by drawing out your pathways so you won't forget. You can also show this fire preparation map to visitors.

2. Assign a Caregiver
Since you're in a family, chances are that you have young or old individuals in your home. You may also have someone with a disability. If any such people may be unable to find an exit without help, you should assign a caregiver that can provide guidance. You may also want to assign a secondary caregiver in case the first one is unavailable. Make sure that this caregiver knows how to direct this individual in the event that the two are separated. The caregiver should also know the fire escape plan for the assigned individual's room.

3. Find a Meeting Place
In order to round out your escape plan, you'll need to have a meeting place outside of your home. By finding somewhere to meet, you can ensure that everyone will be accounted for quickly. Decide on an area that's easy to find and not too far away. An object like a mailbox or a lamppost is especially helpful, mainly because it provides a more specific spot. Be sure that everyone has this fire escape place memorized and has the ability to reach it.
You may be hesitant to even imagine your family enduring a fire. However, preparing for one is essential. If a home fire does occur, ensure that you'll know what to do.

3 Essential Steps After a Basement Flood

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

eight clear bags with damaged material from a house Remove any material damaged by water.

3 Essential Steps After a Basement Flood

Watching your lower level in North Weymouth, MA, fill with water is scary and can feel impossible to fix. Regardless if it is from a torrential downpour, a sewer backup or some other emergency issue, a basement flood can be very damaging to your home without proper aftercare. Once you have checked your insurance coverage, here are three more things you must do afterward.

1. Drain the Water
Once any floodwater around your house has receded, getting the water out of your home as soon as possible is imperative. You will need a few items to accomplish this:

  • Submersible pump
  • Long hose
  • Extension Cord
  • Generator

Pump as much water out as you can. Once you are down to smaller puddles you can work with a wet/dry vac as well to finish the job.

2. Dry and Clean Up
After the water has been removed, take out any damaged belongings. Use towels or blankets to soak up any further puddles and wipe everything down as much as you can. Set up some large fans to begin drying out the area. Depending on how long you were flooded and how deep the water was, you may need to replace any carpeting and drywall in the affected area. In order to prevent further damage from your basement flood, it is best to contact trained water restoration specialists to help complete the job thoroughly.

3. Prevent Future Floods
Determining the cause of the flood will help you to prevent future occurrences. Check your sump pump to ensure it is working properly and is appropriate for the amount of groundwater in your area. You should also check the drainage around your home and your gutter system to ensure each one is properly designed to funnel water away from your house.
It is important to remain calm and think ahead when you experience a home disaster. Although it can seem like an overwhelming experience, damage from a basement flood can be minimized if you take these steps.

Why You Need Document Restoration Professionals After a Disaster

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

documents damaged by water When it comes to document restoration, time is of the essence.

When it comes to document restoration, time is of the essence. Water damage can occur in any size disaster, from a large flood to a small pipe leak. Your commercial business needs to know what to do in order to be prepared. This will lessen the chances of irreversible damage that can happen in as little as 48 hours.

Types of Documents That May Be Damaged

If you sit back and think of all the paper goods and documents in your commercial business, the list ends up long. Here are some examples of paper to itemize when preparing for document restoration:

  • Paper contracts
  • Books, magazines, etc.
  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs
  • X-Rays
  • Blueprints
  • Maps
  • Marketing materials
  • Artifacts

When dealing with historic artifacts, in particular, document drying methods should be approved by the National Archives and Records Administration and the General Services Administration. Luckily, SERVPRO methods are already approved, keeping the costs lower for commercial companies in Hingham, MA.

Steps To Salvage Documents
There is no need to outsource document drying if the local storm response team brought in is well-versed in the process. This is important for not only artifacts but all paper goods that may be damaged. Here are the steps that should be taken by professionals:

  • HIPPA Master-certification
  • 24/7 surveillance
  • Vacuum freeze-drying
  • Gamma irradiation sterilization
  • Re-jacketing
  • Deodorization
  • Digitization

Why You Need Professionals
Attempting document restoration on your own can not only be time-consuming, but it can damage the integrity of the documents or even ruin them completely. It can also be harmful if the necessary precautions aren't taken. Depending on the level of water contamination, the documents may harbor hazardous chemicals, viruses, and bacteria. This can be caused by sewage leaks, floods, or stagnant water. SERVPRO sterilizes the documents to ensure safety. Not to mention, the SERVPRO process makes your documents digital! This way, you won't have to worry about a future disaster impacting your access to important information.

Putting a Stop to a Toilet That Won’t Stop Flushing

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

Toilet, Flushing Water, close up Don’t ignore a toilet that continues to flush.

A toilet that won’t stop flushing may not seem like a big deal, but toilet overflow can pose serious problems not just for the bathroom but other parts of your commercial property as well. As a toilet flushes, more water enters the toilet and can possibly spillover, seeping into the floor or the wall. This can lead to water damage and mold growth in your building in Weymouth, MA. Water on the floor is not only a potential slipping hazard, but it may also contain odors that impact the usability of your bathroom. It’s important to stop a toilet from continuous flushing that can lead to flooding.

Fixing the Flushometer

The flushometer Is a component that controls the flushing on a commercial toilet. Here’s how you can prevent a toilet flood by fixing the flushometer:

  • Use a flathead screwdriver to turn off the flushometer on a manual system. This is usually to the left or the right of the toilet’s pipe connection to the wall.
  • Remove flange cover.
  • Remove the gasket and clean thoroughly, including the weep hole. You may need to use a small, thin object to really clean the weep hole.
  • Replace gasket and flange cover and turn on flushometer.
  • An automatic flushometer may require servicing.

Consult a professional water damage restoration specialist to make repairs and remediation for items impacted by toilet overflow. These pros are fully equipped and experienced in making any repairs necessary to bring your space back to pre-damage conditions. If any specialized techniques or approaches are needed such as odor control and disinfection, they will know best how to apply them.

Trusting the Professionals

While addressing a flushing toilet is something you may be able to do yourself, you should leave the cleanup to a professional remediation service. Your custodial staff cannot fully repair and remediate any spaces or objects impacted by the water damage of toilet overflow. If your business or that of your tenants’ is interrupted by the damage, the professionals can minimize the repair period.
Don’t ignore a toilet that continues to flush. It can lead to serious damage, requiring commercial building restoration.

The Danger of Frozen Pipes in the Winter

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

pipes covered in ice A broken pipe is a potentially harmful consequence of winter storms.

Frozen and Burst Pipes in Weymouth, MA

When you think of storm damage, you usually picture flooded floors or shattered windows. Yet storms can also cause another type of harm to your Weymouth, MA property. Winter storms bring cold temperatures that can cause pipes to freeze. A frozen pipe can then burst, spraying water throughout the property.

Certain pipes are particularly prone to freezing. You should be especially cautious regarding pipes in cold locations such as:

Kitchen cabinets
Unheated walls
Outdoor areas

A burst pipe occurs when the water expands as it freezes. The frozen water soon runs out of room and presses against the pipe until it breaks.

Protecting Your Pipes

Before the winter season begins, you should protect your pipes from freezing. Any outdoor hoses should be stored inside, and valves supplying outdoor bibs should be closed. You should also drain any excess water from the sprinkler supply lines. Avoid putting antifreeze in these lines, as this could damage the landscape.

If your building has an attic or basement, you should consider adding insulation to those areas. This will limit the chances of a burst pipe flooding those rooms.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Once the cold weather arrives, you should keep the interior temperature of your building higher than 55 degrees Fahrenheit — even when the office is closed. Otherwise, the pipes will get too cold. While this may increase your heating bill, a flood from a broken pipe is much more costly.

You may also want to keep any bathroom or kitchen cabinet doors open during the winter. This will allow warmer air to circulate through the pipes in those areas.

A broken pipe is a potentially harmful consequence of winter storms. Left unaddressed, the standing water from a shattered pipe can soak your assets and encourage mold growth. You should thus take steps to protect your pipes from cold temperatures. If water from a burst pipe does flood your property, storm cleanup professionals at SERVPRO of Weymouth & Hingham can help with the cleanup and restoration.

3 Reasons That Property Managers Could Face a Mold Damage Lawsuit

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

a lawyer in his office showing a document with the text lawsuit written in it Here are some reasons you could be facing a mold damage lawsuit

Why You As A Property Manager Could Face a Mold Damage Lawsuit

As a commercial property manager in South Weymouth, MA, you have certain responsibilities when it comes to issues of mold in the buildings that you manage. Mold can be a touchy subject because mold insurance claims tend to be nebulous. Many insurance companies have riders that exclude mold damage so you have to have a secondary insurance plan of some sort—it can be confusing! Here are three reasons why you as a property manager could face a mold damage lawsuit. Understanding the possibilities will help you to ensure that you have the proper coverage.

1. Property Damage
If it is discovered that mold has damaged the tenant's property or products, the mold claim will likely be over who is responsible for paying for damages and how much things are worth. One way to avoid this issue is to have the building inspected before you rent it and come to a formal, written agreement with the tenants about who is responsible for what in the event of damaged property.

2. Commercial Fitness
Commercial buildings don't have to be inhabitable the way residential buildings do, but they do have to allow for the intended business to function. If a tenant feels that the building is no longer fit for its intended use, then lawsuits over mold insurance claims could result.

3. Prevention and Remediation
Preventing mold growth and remediating existing mold are probably the most common reasons that property managers could find themselves involved in a lawsuit. Mold prevention looks like responding to concerns about leaks and dampness while remediation is about repairing an existing problem. Especially if you've agreed with your tenant about who is responsible for what aspect of mold remediation and prevention, keeping up your end of the bargain and maintaining good records will help you if you are faced with a legal dispute. When in doubt, hire a professional mold remediation specialist to provide an assessment.
Although mold insurance claims that result in a lawsuit at a commercial property are less common than at a residential one, it's important to know what responsibilities you have and how to prepare for them.

Top 4 Questions About Nor’easters

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Storm waves crash over the seawall causing massive flooding, power outages, road closures, and erosion damage along the Maine These storms can cause a lot of flooding and damage to communities in the Northeast

Top 4 Questions About Nor’easters

A nor'easter is a type of destructive storm that can hit the Northeastern coast of the United States. If you want to combat them, you should read the answers to some of the common questions that people ask about these types of storms.

1. How Do They Develop?
The Gulf Stream carries warm water from around Florida up towards the Mid-Atlantic. As they move, they bring warm air with them. When cold air is carried off the Mid-Atlantic states' coast, it can create an instability that leads to a nor'easter and many coastal dwellers hunting for remediation professionals.

2. Where Does the Name Come From?
While most people think they get their name because they are common in the Northeast, a storm is called a nor'easter because the winds come from the Northeast. Originally, sailors identified these storms because of where they were approaching from and called them northeasters. The name has been shortened over time.

3. Where Are They Common?
These storms tend to hit the Northeastern United States. However, they can strike anywhere along the upper Eastern Coastline. Because of where they strike, major cities tend to be vulnerable. While New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington are all common targets, less metropolitan areas, such as East Weymouth, MA, can be hit.

4. Are They Dangerous?
One of the more common nor'easter facts is that these storms only last a day or two. However, in that short period of time, they can bring excessive amounts of rain, snow, and wind, leading to flooded roads, power outages, and fallen trees. These conditions will often cause issues among community members. These storms can lead to injuries and deaths from car accidents, slips, hypothermia, trees falling, buildings collapsing, and snow shoveling. Therefore, many people stay home during these storms.
These storms can cause a lot of flooding and damage to communities in the Northeast. Knowing more about them can ensure that you are prepared if they hit your home.

Is Your Workplace Prepared For A Fire?

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Red tank of fire extinguisher. Consider adding fire extinguishers in your building

Is Your Workplace Prepared For A Fire?

As an employer in Weymouth Landing, MA, it is your responsibility to take charge of workplace safety. Keeping your employees safe on the job should be a top priority. If you haven't yet created a fire safety plan for your business, it's not too late now. The following three components should be considered as you build your own business fire safety plan.

1. Fire Extinguishers
In addition to having fully functional smoke detectors in each room of the building, consider adding fire extinguishers. The following guidelines apply when placing fire extinguishers in the workplace:

  1. All extinguishers should be less than one year old.
  2. Keep them safely mounted and accessible.
  3. Generally, you want an extinguisher every 75 feet throughout the building.
  4. Train your employees on where to locate and how to use extinguishers.

2. Escape Plan
In addition to proper business fire prevention equipment, you should design a personalized fire escape plan. Keep all emergency exits clearly marked to ensure a safe departure in a timely manner. Leave exit doors unlocked from the inside and clear all pathways of tripping hazards. A good escape plan should be simple and frequently practiced and should designate specific employees to be in charge of calling first responders and keeping track of personnel.

3. Emergency Response
While some minor fire incidents may be handled quickly by the use of fire sprinklers or extinguishers, some business fire incidents get out of control more quickly than others. Have a game plan for calling emergency responders. To ensure fire crews can find your business, keep your address clearly labeled at all entrances of the building. If you have a fire lane, don't allow employees or visitors to park in it. The fire lane clear and unobstructed at all times. If you experience fire damage, fire restoration professionals can handle the repairs.
Fire safety means much more than simply changing the batteries in the smoke detector. Create a fire preparation plan for your business today.

How Is Damage From A Puffback Removed?

12/31/2020 (Permalink)

soot web on curtains SERVPRO of Weymouth & Hingham is your local trusted leader in soot damage restoration.

Puffback and Soot Damage in Weymouth, MA

When a furnace misfires, smoke and soot can be released throughout your building. This puffback damage can cause serious destruction to your commercial property. You may be tempted to try cleaning the debris yourself, but it is imperative to call a fire damage assessment professional right away.

What Causes Puffback?

An oil furnace that isn’t operating correctly can leave un-burned oil on the floor and other surfaces. If this oil is ignited, it can cause an explosion.
Common causes of un-burned oil include:

  • Leaks in the piping - Heating oil can drip from leaking pipes when the furnace isn’t running, creating air bubbles in the pipes. When the furnace starts running again, the extra air compresses and pushes additional un-burned oil out of the burner nozzle, causing a furnace puff back explosion.
  • Problems with the burner shutdown - If the oil burner doesn’t operate correctly during shutdown, oil can leak out of the burner nozzle.
  • Insufficient maintenance - If a burner isn’t maintained properly, dirt can prevent oil from combusting properly in the fire chamber. It’s critical to have a professional maintain your furnace at least once a year to reduce the risk of malfunction.

How Is Damage From Puffback Removed?

Since soot from puffback damage is sticky and contains oil, it is very difficult to clean. Soot can work its way into the ductwork and spread throughout the entire property. For these reasons, the damage should always be handled by a professional.

The trained technicians at SERVPRO of Weymouth & Hingham will first assess the damage to ensure that the entire area is addressed safely and thoroughly. The professional team will remove the soot and smoke from all structures and surfaces using advanced techniques and equipment. The area is sanitized and deodorized to remove contaminants and odors. Restoration can take place once all surfaces are completely cleaned and sanitized.

If you are dealing with puffback damage in your building, call a professional to ensure you get your business back to normal as soon as possible.