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7 Steps to Take If You Know You're Buying a Home with Water Damage

2/27/2024 (Permalink)

Water Damage Restoration Professional Inspecting a Home Learn essential steps for buying a home with water damage, from gathering info to professional restoration. Achieve success with our guide!

Navigating the purchase of a home is a thrilling yet challenging endeavor, especially when faced with the reality of buying a home with water damage. While this revelation may initially appear discouraging, there are actionable steps you can take to address the situation and proceed towards making that dream home yours. In this blog post, we'll outline essential strategies to guide you through the process of purchasing a home with water damage, from making informed decisions to enlisting professionals for water damage restoration Weymouth. We'll help you achieve successful resolution of any challenges encountered along the way.

1. Prepare Questions for the Homeowner or Real Estate Agency

The first step in dealing with a potential water-damaged house is to gather information by preparing a set of questions for the homeowner or the real estate agency. These questions can cover various aspects, such as any known history of water damage, recent repairs, or any preventive measures taken. By seeking answers to these questions upfront, you can gain valuable insights into the property's condition and make an informed decision about whether to proceed with a professional home inspection or negotiate terms with the seller.

2. Determine the Cost of Necessary Water Damage Repairs and Remediation

After gathering information about the water damage, the next crucial step is to assess the financial implications by determining the cost of necessary repairs and remediation. There are several ways to estimate these costs:

  • Obtain Estimates from Different Contractors: Reach out to reputable water damage restoration contractors in your area and request detailed estimates for the required repairs. Having multiple quotes allows you to compare costs, services, and timelines. Ensure that the estimates include a breakdown of expenses, so you have a clear understanding of what each contractor is proposing.
  • Research Market Values for Comparable Houses: Consult real estate agencies to gather market values for similar houses in the area without water damage. This information can provide a benchmark for understanding the potential impact of water damage on the property's overall value. It may also serve as valuable negotiation leverage when discussing repair costs with the seller.
  • Factor in Additional Costs: In addition to direct repair costs, consider any additional expenses that may arise during the remediation process. This could include temporary housing costs if the property is uninhabitable during repairs or any hidden structural issues uncovered during the restoration process. Having a comprehensive understanding of all potential costs is vital for accurate financial planning.

By thoroughly exploring these avenues, you can develop a clear picture of the financial aspects associated with repairing water damage. This knowledge not only helps in budgeting effectively but also empowers you to make informed decisions during the home-buying process.

3. Get Adequate Homeowner's Insurance

One often overlooked aspect of buying a home with water damage is ensuring you have the right homeowner's insurance in place. Regular policies may not cover water damage, or there might be limitations. Speak with your insurance provider to discuss specific coverage for water-related issues. Being proactive about insurance can save you from unexpected financial burdens down the line.

4. Understand the Requirements of Buying a House

In the process of purchasing a water-damaged house, it's crucial to understand the overall requirements of buying a house. This includes legal considerations, paperwork, and compliance with local regulations. Be diligent in reviewing contracts and consult with legal professionals if needed to ensure a smooth and legally sound home-buying process.

5. Use Professional Water Damage Restoration Services

When it comes to addressing water damage, it's essential to enlist the help of professional water damage restoration services. These experts have the knowledge, skills, and equipment to effectively remediate water damage and restore your new property to excellent condition. Don't underestimate the importance of a thorough restoration process in maintaining the structural integrity and safety of your home.

6. Research Local Water Damage Restoration Services

When facing the prospect of buying a home with water damage, it's essential to research and identify reputable local water damage restoration services in the Weymouth area. Understanding the expertise and track record of these professionals is crucial for ensuring that the necessary repairs are carried out effectively. Look for customer reviews, testimonials, and certifications to make an informed decision about the restoration team you choose.

7. Plan for Preventive Measures

Once the water damage has been addressed and your new home is on its way to recovery, it's time to plan for preventive measures. Work with your water damage restoration professionals to identify areas of vulnerability and implement strategies to prevent future issues. This may include improved drainage systems, regular inspections, or simple home maintenance practices. Taking proactive steps now can save you from potential headaches and expenses in the future.

Reach Out to SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham and Quincy for Immediate Assistance

Purchasing a home with water damage presents its challenges, but with the right approach, it's possible to turn this situation into an opportunity. By gathering information, assessing repair costs, securing adequate insurance, understanding legal requirements, and enlisting professional restoration services, you can navigate the process with confidence. Remember to research local restoration services and negotiate terms with the seller to ensure a successful outcome. With careful planning and proactive measures, you can soon transform that water-damaged house into your dream home, ready to welcome you for years to come. Contact us at (781) 337-0344 or fill out the contact form on our website! At SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham and Quincy, our IICRC-certified team is committed to providing you with the highest level of service!

How to Fix Ceiling Water Damage After a Leak

2/22/2024 (Permalink)

Water Damaged Ceiling Discover how to fix ceiling water damage with the assistance of our comprehensive guide, ensuring a smooth restoration process for your home.

Water damage can be a persistent challenge for homeowners, particularly when it infiltrates the ceiling. Whether it stems from a leaky roof, a burst pipe, or a malfunctioning appliance, addressing ceiling water damage quickly is crucial for the prevention of further complications. In this comprehensive guide about water damage restoration, we'll delve into the intricacies of understanding, identifying, and effectively repairing ceiling water damage.

What is Water Damage After a Leak?

When it comes to safeguarding your home, quick water damage restoration is essential, especially after a leak. This type of damage occurs when unwanted water accumulates in areas it shouldn't, potentially leading to structural issues and health hazards. Ceiling water damage often results from leaks originating above, such as a damaged roof or a plumbing malfunction.

Types of Ceiling Water Damage

As water damage can manifest in various ways, understanding the types of damage is crucial for effective mitigation. Each type requires a specific approach to restoration to ensure a thorough and lasting solution.

  • Water Stains: Water stains are visible indicators of ceiling water damage, often appearing as unpleasant brown discolorations. These stains can spread over time if not immediately addressed, making them a clear sign of water infiltration and a potential need for water damage drywall ceiling repair.
  • Sagging or Bulging: Excess water saturating the ceiling material can compromise its structural integrity, causing it to sag or bulge. Recognizing sagging or bulging is crucial, as it indicates significant water damage that requires immediate attention.
  • Peeling Paint or Wallpaper: The presence of excess moisture can cause the paint or wallpaper on your ceiling to peel or bubble. Beyond being aesthetically unpleasing, this indicates ongoing water damage that needs to be resolved.
  • Mold Growth: Perhaps the most alarming consequence of water damage is the potential growth of mold. Thriving in damp environments, mold poses serious health risks and requires quick remediation to prevent further harm.

How to Repair a Ceiling from Water Damage

Now you are familiar with the types of ceiling water damage, but you are still wondering how to fix water damaged ceiling. Addressing ceiling water damage involves a systematic approach to ensure effective and lasting restoration. From identifying the source of the leak to repairing or replacing damaged materials, each step plays a crucial role in the restoration process. Here are the details regarding these steps:

  • Identify and Fix the Source of the Leak

Before addressing the ceiling damage, pinpoint and fix the source of the leak. Whether it's a roof issue, a burst pipe, or a malfunctioning appliance, resolving the root cause is paramount to prevent recurring damage.

  • Remove Damaged Materials

Carefully remove any wet or damaged materials from the affected area. This may include wet insulation, ceiling tiles, or sections of drywall. Be cautious, as wet materials can be heavy and prone to collapsing.

  • Dry Out the Area 

Utilize fans and dehumidifiers to thoroughly dry out the affected area. This step is critical in preventing mold growth. Ensure the space is completely dry before proceeding with repairs. 

  • Repair or Replace Damaged Ceiling Materials

The extent of the water damage will determine whether a simple patch or the replacement of entire sections of drywall or ceiling tiles is necessary. Professional assistance is advisable for severe damage, particularly if structural issues are involved.

  • Repaint or Reapply Wallpaper:

Once you managed to fix water damage ceiling, and the area is dry, restore the aesthetic appeal of your ceiling by repainting or reapplying wallpaper.

The Importance of Timely Intervention

Immediate and decisive action is substantial when dealing with ceiling water damage. Ignoring or delaying repairs can worsen the situation, leading to more extensive damage, increased repair costs, and potential health hazards. Mold, in particular, can start growing within 24 to 48 hours of water exposure, emphasizing the urgency of fast intervention. Timely repairs not only safeguard the structural integrity of your home but also contribute to a healthier living environment.

Preventing Future Water Damage

Beyond addressing current water damage, it's equally important to take preventative measures to avoid future incidents. Regularly inspect your roof for signs of damage, keep gutters clean to ensure proper drainage, and promptly fix any plumbing issues. Besides, consider installing leak detectors or smart home water monitoring systems to receive timely alerts in case of potential leaks. These proactive steps can significantly reduce the risk of future ceiling water damage, providing peace of mind for homeowners.

Navigating Insurance and FEMA Assistance

In some cases, homeowners may be eligible for insurance coverage to assist with water damage restoration. Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy and understand the coverage it provides for water damage. Additionally, in situations involving widespread damage, such as natural disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may offer assistance. It's crucial to stay informed about FEMA programs, eligibility criteria, and the application process. Seeking assistance from these avenues can help ease the financial burden associated with extensive water damage restoration.

Efficient Water Damage Restoration at SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham and Quincy

Ceiling water damage, though challenging, is manageable to some extent with the right approach. By understanding the signs, taking fast action, and implementing preventative measures, homeowners can mitigate the impact of water damage on their homes. Whether you're addressing a small water stain or a more significant structural issue, the key is to approach repairs with a sense of urgency. Remember, a well-informed homeowner is better equipped to navigate the restoration process and maintain a safe, comfortable living space for years to come. Yet, it is important to note that certified professionals like SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham and Quincy can approach water damage restoration tasks with the utmost precision and care! Our team with their expertise and equipment will fix your water damage ceilings in no time! Do not hesitate to contact us at (781) 337-0344! 

The 5 Fire Types: What Type of Fire Can Be Put Out Safely with Water?

2/22/2024 (Permalink)

Firefighter Tackling Massive House Fire Discover what type of fire can be safely extinguished with water. Explore extinguishing methods and prevention steps for each of the 5 fire types.

As individuals seeking to ensure our homes and loved ones are safe, understanding the basics of fire and how to handle it is crucial. Fires come in various forms, each with its characteristics and dangers. Knowing which fires can be safely put out with water is essential knowledge for anyone concerned about fire safety. In this comprehensive blog post, we'll explore the five primary fire types, fire damage prevention across all fire types, and answer the burning question: what type of fire can be extinguished safely using water? Plus, if you need help with fire damage Weymouth MA, we’ve got you covered.

Fire Classification: What Type of Fire Can Be Put Out Safely with Water?

Before we delve into specific fire types, let's establish a foundational understanding of fire classification. Fires are categorized into different classes based on the type of fuel involved. This classification system helps firefighters and damage restoration professionals in determining the most effective extinguishing agents for each type of fire.

  • Class A Fires
    Class A fires involve ordinary flammable materials such as wood, paper, cloth, and certain plastics. These fires leave behind ash when extinguished. Water is widely recognized as an effective extinguishing agent for Class A fires. It works by cooling the burning material and removing heat from the fire triangle, effectively stifling the flames.
  • Class B Fires
    Class B fires encompass flammable liquids and gases, including gasoline, oil, grease, and chemicals. Unlike Class A fires, water can intensify Class B fires by spreading the flammable liquid and intensifying the blaze. Foam or dry chemical extinguishers are typically recommended for Class B fires to smother the flames and prevent reignition.
  • Class C Fires
    Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment, such as appliances, wiring, and circuit breakers. Using water to extinguish Class C fires poses significant risks, as water conducts electricity and can lead to electric shock or electrocution. Carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers are safer alternatives for Class C fires.
  • Class D Fires
    Class D fires entail flammable metals such as magnesium, titanium, and potassium. Water should never be used to extinguish Class D fires, as it can react violently with the burning metal, potentially causing explosions. Specialized dry powder extinguishing agents are specifically designed for resisting Class D fires.
  • Class K Fires
    Class K fires involve cooking oils, fats, and greases commonly found in commercial kitchens. Water is ineffective and can even be hazardous when used to extinguish Class K fires, as it can cause hot oil or grease to splatter and spread, intensifying the fire. Wet chemical extinguishers are specifically formulated for Class K fires, creating a cooling effect and forming a barrier to prevent rekindling.

Fire Safety and Damage Prevention Across 5 Fire Types

Now that you know what are 5 fire types and how to extinguish them, let’s move forward with the next step: fire safety and damage prevention. Protecting your home or business from fires requires a tailored strategy for each fire type. Here are seven crucial steps, from installing detectors to investing in suppression systems, ensuring comprehensive fire safety.

  • Installing and maintaining smoke detectors and fire alarms: Smoke detectors are crucial for early fire detection, but certain fires, like Class C (electrical fires), may not produce visible smoke. Consider installing fire alarms to detect temperature spikes or electrical issues. This can minimize the risk of smoke damage and personal harm.
  • Developing and practicing a fire escape plan: A fire escape plan, tailored to specific hazards, is crucial for all fire types. In kitchens prone to Class K fires, ensure the plan avoids water use to prevent fire escalation.
  • Properly storing flammable materials and chemicals: This step is vital for preventing Class B fires with flammable liquids and gases. Store materials safely away from potential fire sources, use approved containers, and ensure adequate ventilation in storage areas.
  • Regularly inspecting and maintaining electrical systems and appliances: Electrical fires (Class C) often stem from faulty wiring or appliances. Regular maintenance can spot hazards and prevent fires. Encourage professional inspections and repairs.
  • Ensuring proper ventilation: Proper ventilation reduces fire risk, especially in areas prone to grease buildup or flammable vapors, such as kitchens (Class K fires) and industrial settings. Adequate ventilation helps dissipate heat and reduces the likelihood of fires spreading or rekindling.
  • Training employees in fire safety protocols: In commercial settings, fire safety training for employees is vital for prevention and effective response. Provide training on fire classes and proper extinguishing methods. For instance, restaurant staff should know how to use wet chemical extinguishers for Class K fires.
  • Investing in fire suppression systems: Fire suppression systems, like sprinklers and extinguishers, quickly control fires and limit damage. Choose the right system for specific fire risks. For instance, install a kitchen hood suppression system for Class K fires in commercial kitchens.

Understanding the various fire types and their respective extinguishing methods is crucial for effective fire safety and damage restoration efforts. While water remains a versatile and widely used extinguishing agent for Class A fires, it's important to recognize its limitations and potential hazards in other fire scenarios. By staying informed and prepared, damage restoration contractors can better serve their clients and communities in times of crisis.

Call SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham and Quincy

At SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham and Quincy, we are committed to solving all fire damage restoration needs. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Reach out to our team by calling (781) 337-0344 or filling out a form on our website

How To Repair Water-Damaged Drywall

12/28/2023 (Permalink)

how to repair water damage drywall How to Repair Water-Damaged Drywall - An Expert Guide

Whether it comes from a plumbing problem, a natural disaster, or any other source, water inside your home is never a good thing. Even if there isn’t any standing water, the moisture can cause major problems, and you probably want to know how to repair water damaged drywall. Here, our team at SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy offers tips for restoring drywall after water damage to prevent mold growth and further damage.

What Happens When Drywall Gets Wet?  

In most cases, water is the enemy of drywall or sheetrock. Contractors typically use a specific type of wall material in bathrooms or other places where it’s likely to experience more moisture. Elsewhere, the wall material should remain dry to ensure structural integrity and prevent mold and mildew infestation.

Water damage on walls can range from unsightly yellowish-brown stains and musty smells to a complete collapse. You might notice that paint or wallpaper starts to bubble or peel, or even water dripping from the walls or ceilings. Soaked sheetrock often feels soft and crumbly, leaving a chalky film on your hands when you touch it. 

In extreme cases, water damage on wall boards causes them to buckle, warp, or even collapse. Without immediate repair, moisture will cause mold to grow and spread, putting your family at risk for serious health issues. 

Fixing Water-Soaked Drywall  

The first step in water-damaged drywall installation is finding and fixing the source of the water. It’s not always immediately clear where the water is coming from, so it might require some investigation to locate and address the leak. Often, this means removing the drywall that has water damage to gain access to the pipes behind it and make repairs. 

If the drywall sustains water damage from a flood, the first step is to remove the standing water and attempt to dry the material. It usually takes several days to dry wet sheetrock using fans and dehumidifiers, and even that isn’t a guarantee that it’s still structurally sound. Even after drying, you might still need professional guidance on how to repair water-damaged drywall. 

How To Repair Minor Water-Damaged Drywall 

If the damage is minimal and mostly cosmetic, you have a few options for restoration. Following some simple steps for repairing water-damaged sheetrock can keep your home in good condition and stop the damage from spreading. 

When the damage is strictly cosmetic, you can remove stains and restore the finish by scraping bubbling or peeling paint off the wall and then sanding down the surface. Apply fresh coats of primer and paint and let them dry. 

If the damage goes deeper but doesn’t affect any more than a small area (less than 6 inches square), you can remove the affected section and patch it with some new drywall. However, larger sections of damaged drywall, especially when they are moldy, usually need professional attention. If the water damage extends beyond 12 inches square, or a mold infestation covers more than 10 square feet of sheetrock, you need professional remediation. 

Repairing Significantly Water-Damaged Drywall 

Significant water damage that affects areas larger than 12 square inches or causes the wall to sag more than 3/8 of an inch requires replacing the entire sheetrock panel. Larger pieces of drywall need anchoring to the wall studs or ceiling joists, a project you should leave to a professional.

In fact, when it comes to disaster cleanup, it’s best to avoid DIY water-damaged drywall restoration for safety reasons. Mold is of particular concern when it comes to wet walls, and professional remediation and abatement professionals have the skills and equipment to deal with it without creating health risks for building occupants. Even without widespread mold, dealing with large sections of drywall can be challenging, as the material is often heavy and requires precision to guarantee a safe and seamless replacement. 

Trust SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy to Deal With Water-Damaged Drywall 

If this drywall water damage repair guide still has you wondering what to do about a problem in your South Shore home, get in touch with the cleanup and restoration experts of SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy for help at (781) 337-0344. These experienced and knowledgeable professionals can offer insight into how to repair water-damaged drywall and help you recover from a disaster with prompt extraction, drying, cleanup, and restoration services.

Whether your roof leaks or a pipe bursts in the basement, get the help you need to stop water damage fast and keep your home safe by contacting us.

What Does Soot and Smoke Damage Look Like After a Fire?

12/19/2023 (Permalink)

smoke and soot damage smoke and soot damage

A fire is one of the most damaging events that could happen in your home or business. Though the flames can cause devastation, soot and smoke are equally problematic. Fortunately, fire damage restoration in Hingham can alleviate the lingering effects of a fire. 

But what does smoke damage look like? If you've never seen the aftermath of a fire, you might be unsure about the particular characteristics of smoke-damaged surfaces. 

At SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham and Quincy, our restoration experts have years of experience identifying signs of smoke damage that might be less obvious to a property owner. If you want to learn to recognize common visual indicators of smoke impact, continue reading. We also address how restoration professionals mitigate smoke and soot damage below. 

Why Is Soot and Smoke Damage Dangerous?

Smoke damage refers to any damage that follows a fire that the flames don't cause directly. Though smoke doesn't affect materials the same way a fire does, it can still leave behind greasy, smudgy soot. Because smoke and soot particles travel through the air, they can get onto surfaces in spaces without fire damage. 

Though they don't seem dangerous, smoke and soot can be more problematic than the fire's flames. Soot particulate isn't visible to the naked eye, so you could breathe in particles unknowingly. It primarily consists of carbon but can contain chemicals, dust, and metals. 

Smoke and soot can damage almost any material inside your home or business, such as glass, metal, fabrics, flooring, and marble. Their presence creates foul odors, poor indoor air quality, and health complications. 

You can get smoke and soot particles inside your body by breathing inside a fire-damage building without a respirator. Particles can also enter your mouth and eyes. Unfortunately, these toxic particles can cause several problems and symptoms like:

  • Chest pain
  • Eye irritation
  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • Elevated heartbeat
  • Wheezing
  • Asthma attack
  • Severe skin irritation

Recognizing Smoke Damage Appearances on Surfaces and Materials

What does smoke damage look like? When describing the look of smoke damage, it helps to know about the different types of damage and their characteristics. 

Dry Smoke

Dry smoke derives from fast-burning materials like wood and paper. Since the heat is higher when these materials burn, smoke rises quickly.

The residue from dry smoke tends to be dry and powdery. It's easier to wipe clean than other fire damage types. However, its powdery nature also means dry smoke residue can easily slip into holes and crevices, which makes getting rid of the smoky smell more challenging. 

Wet Smoke

When rubber or plastic burns at a smoldering heat, it produces wet smoke. Wet smoke is thick and sticky, creating a pungent scent wherever it is. 

If you touch wet smoke residue, it will smear on the surface. Its stickiness makes cleaning wet smoke a difficult job requiring lots of time and effort. 

Fuel Smoke

Fuel smoke develops when a fire burns oil, petroleum, or similar substances. You're not likely to experience this type of smoke damage inside a home or business. Garages, warehouses, and other spaces that often store petroleum are more likely to experience fuel smoke damage. 

The smell of fuel smoke is one of the worst, and the residue is notoriously hard to clean. The smoke remnants are thick, sticky, and almost impossible to remove without professional help.

Protein Smoke

When organic materials burn, they produce protein smoke. This smoke damage is common for kitchen fires. It's mostly invisible, but protein smoke can cause paint discoloration and a lingering smoky scent. 

What Should You Do About Smoke and Soot Damage?

Because soot and smoke particles are black, microscopic, and toxic, it's best not to attempt cleaning damaged surfaces yourself. It's better to contact a qualified fire damage restoration company. 

Restoration experts know how to identify all the visual clues for smoke damage assessments that determine the extent and severity of the problem. After assessing the property, the restoration crew will create and execute a deep cleaning plan to scrub the entire property of smoke. They have the skills and tools to clean and restore smoke-damaged items safely. 

Contact the Experts

You don't have to know the answer to, "What does smoke damage look like?" to understand that SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham and Quincy is here to meet your damage restoration needs. Our full-service company offers water, fire, and storm damage restoration, including services for smoke and soot mitigation. Our highly trained technicians use advanced equipment and the latest industry techniques to quickly restore buildings after a disaster. 

Call SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham and Quincy in Massachusetts today at (781) 337-0344 for assistance.

A Comprehensive Guide To Understanding Fire Damage

12/15/2023 (Permalink)

fire damage guide fire damage

Nothing is as devastating to a home as a fire. Even a small kitchen or electrical fire can result in widespread devastation, but a fire damage company in Weymouth will restore your home to its pre-blaze condition. 

If the aftermath of a fire has you scrambling to figure out where to start the recovery process, our guide will help you take the first steps and know what to expect going forward.

Why Do You Need Professional Fire Damage Restoration? 

Once the fire department puts out the flames, a fire restoration company comes in to appraise the damage and develop a recovery plan. Specialists use a meticulous, step-by-step checklist to gauge every potential form of fire damage, including the effects of:

  • Water
  • Chemicals
  • Smoke
  • Soot
  • Odors

In addition to causing structural damage, a fire contaminates everything in its path with toxins. A fire damage restoration company can identify and mitigate all the issues that can pop up, ensuring your family can live in the home without risk of injury or illness. 

A Checklist for Dealing With Fire Damage

After a disaster, our fire damage company completes a comprehensive checklist of tasks to repair and clean your property. The process may take several weeks or months, depending on how much work needs to be done.

Step 1: Assessment and Securing the Property

The process begins with a comprehensive assessment of the structural, smoke, and soot damage. Our restoration specialists will determine what they can salvage from the scene, if anything, and the best approach to handling smoke damage cleanup, soot elimination, and reconstruction. A fire can significantly impact the structural stability of any building, and we look for hidden damage that might not be immediately apparent but still requires attention.

Once we document the situation for insurance purposes, we’ll secure the property to create a safe environment for cleanup and prevent further damage. This could include putting tarps over exposed areas, removing debris, boarding up windows, or installing structural supports. 

Step 2: Preventing Further Damage 

Firefighters use water and chemicals to extinguish the flames, which can cause secondary damage like mold, rot, rust, and health risks.  

After safely removing any damaged materials that are beyond repair, water damage remediation is usually the first step. This process includes removing excess water and using industrial fans and dehumidifiers to dry out walls, floors, and other affected areas. If the fire department used suppressants to put out the flames, chemical damage restoration to seal the residue and prevent further contamination may also be necessary. 

Step 3: Soot and Smoke Damage Cleanup 

Porous surfaces, like upholstery and carpets, are especially vulnerable to soot damage. Soot is made up of carbon particles from partially burned materials, and it's a known carcinogen. To eliminate these pollutants and the health risks they cause, we deep clean affected surfaces with specialized equipment, powerful cleaning agents, and air filters. 

Addressing smoke damage is complex, as the odor can cling to surfaces and infiltrate tiny spaces that are easy to overlook. We'll clean and deodorize salvageable personal items, including clothing and furniture, to return them to pre-fire condition. However, electronics and appliances may require replacement because smoke can destroy sensitive mechanical components.

We use several methods to eliminate unpleasant and lingering smoke odors, including thermal fogging or ozone treatments to break down the particles and remove the smell.

Step 4: Rebuilding 

Rebuilding begins once the cleanup is complete. For some homeowners, this means reconstructing entire rooms or sections of the home and roof, while for others, it entails relatively minor projects like replacing drywall, countertops, and flooring, repainting walls, and making electrical or plumbing repairs or replacements. Structural repairs are the final step in returning your property to the same or similar condition it was in before the incident.  

Turn To SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy for Help After a Disaster 

Looking at the charred remains of your home, smelling the smoke, and dealing with the aftermath of losing treasured belongings to the flames is an emotional and often overwhelming experience. You need a compassionate and experienced team on your side that has the professional expertise and tools to help you get back on your feet. 

SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy is the Massachusetts fire damage company to call when the unthinkable happens to your South Shore home. When you call us at (781) 337-0344, the local specialists will be there fast to answer questions and get started with recovery and restoration. Thanks to our IICRC certification and top Better Business Bureau rating, you can relax knowing our disaster cleanup professionals have everything under control. 

Health Effects of Mold Exposure

11/29/2023 (Permalink)

black mold removal black mold removal

Exposure to mold can lead to a variety of health issues, particularly for individuals who are sensitive or have allergies. One of the most dangerous types of mold growth is black mold. It's true that mold spores are everywhere, even inside buildings. Breathing in black mold spores won't impact everyone the same way, but exposure to it can pose several health risks ranging from mild to severe. 

If you see moldy areas around your home, it's crucial to schedule professional black mold removal immediately. The last thing you want to do is experience the effects of long-term black mold exposure, which the guide below breaks down in detail. 

What Is Black Mold and Why Is it Dangerous?

Black mold is a dark green or black fungus that could consist of different types of fungal colonies. Most people consider the Stachybotrys chartarum mold as the definitive black mold. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn't require property owners to identify the type of mold inside their homes before contacting mold remediators. 

These fungal colonies need moisture and warmth to multiply and spread. You'll likely find black mold in damp environments like bathrooms and kitchens or other rooms after a flood. 

Who Does Black Mold Affect the Most?

Most people won't die from black mold exposure. Still, the spores from the fast-multiplying colonies can make allergic people sick. Since the mold also emits microbial volatile organic compounds that are responsible for the musty smell most mold has, those particles can also affect individuals who are sensitive to them or those with weakened immune systems. 

Even if you don't have an allergy or compromised immune system, you could still experience health effects of black mold exposure, like:

  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Upper respiratory problems
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Skin irritation

Mold poisoning is a possibility for prolonged black mold exposure due to the S. chartarum fungi. The condition is rare, but it could lead to nosebleeds, body aches, mood changes, and memory loss. You could develop a mold-related infection if you have an illness like asthma, sarcoidosis, or cystic fibrosis.

How Quickly Can Mold Make You Sick?

The rate at which black mold could impact your health depends on your allergies, illnesses, and sensitivities. Everyone responds differently, so some may feel sicker faster than others.

The amount of mold inside your house also determines how fast it could affect your health. A small moldy area on a bathroom window isn't as severe as a moldy wall inside a basement after a flood.

Regardless of how fast or slow mold could affect you, it's best not to risk your health. Contact a mold remediation company for black mold removal at the first sign of trouble. 

What Causes Black Mold To Grow Inside Your Home?

Black mold is common in outdoor and indoor environments. In most situations, its effects are negligible.

However, colonies will quickly grow inside your house if it has the right amount of water and oxygen. Black mold also needs temperatures between 40 and 100 degrees and access to cellulose for food. Cellulose is common in drywall, which is why the mold forms quickly on wall surfaces. 

What Types of Mold Are Common Inside Buildings?

Mold spores can get inside your house through open windows and doors. The spores can also attach to you and your pets whenever you go outside. 

Besides S. chartarum, the most common types of indoor mold are:

  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria

How Can You Get Rid of Black Mold?

In some cases, you could remove mold with soap and water or a solution consisting of one cup of bleach in a gallon of water. Before attempting black mold removal, you should open doors and windows and wear protective gear like gloves, goggles, and an N95 respirator. It's best to call a qualified mold remediation company for severe cases. 

Prevention is the key to avoiding possible black mold health complications. You can safeguard your home by:

  • Fixing leaky plumbing immediately
  • Cleaning your home with mold-killing products
  • Keeping indoor humidity between 30% and 50%
  • Removing damp towels and clothing from washing matchings and laundry baskets
  • Repairing leaky windows and doors

Get Rid of Black Mold With SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy

Though it's best to take necessary steps to prevent mold growth, you can count on SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy to treat your home if mold is present. We're a full-service fire and water damage restoration company, but our certified technicians are also experienced mold remediators. 

Our technicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide black mold removal and remediation to keep mold at acceptable levels. Book your appointment with SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy in Massachusetts at (781) 337-0344 today or fill out the contact form on our website for restoration services.

Boston’s Common Causes of Water Damage

11/13/2023 (Permalink)

Common Causes of Water Damage Protect your home by learning the most common signs of water damage in Boston with this comprehensive guide from SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Qui

Water-related disasters can strike your Boston home or business at any time, leaving you with costly property damage. Still, knowing how flooding can happen will help you be more mindful and alert to problems before they cause significant issues for your property. Here, learn some of the most common ways water damage in Boston occurs.

Leaky Plumbing

Plumbing leaks and burst pipes are two of the most common ways properties sustain water damage. Pipes can leak due to corrosion, weak pipe joints, and intense water pressure. Extreme pressure and freezing temperatures contribute to burst pipes. 

Though minor leaks can cause property damage over time, a burst pipe can lead to major flooding. Unfortunately, it can be hard to locate the source of a plumbing leak because pipes can be behind walls, under sinks, and in other less noticeable areas. 

Gutter Clogs

Your gutter system is an essential part of your roofing system because it allows rainwater and snowmelt to flow off the roof and away from your home's foundation. Unfortunately, gutters can quickly clog with leaves, dirt, and other debris. As a result, water from the roof will flow over the gutters and down the building's siding. 

A clogged gutter can create water damage around your roof's edges, your siding, and your foundation. If enough water collects around the outside of your house, the moisture can seep indoors and increase the risk of water damage and mold growth. 

Malfunctioning Appliances

Washing machines, boilers, dishwashers, and refrigerators are major appliances that many Bostonians use daily. However, these appliances are more likely to develop leaks and other damages over time due to wear and tear.

Even a persistent drip from a leaky hose is enough to cause water damage to your home. Unfortunately, you might not notice your appliance is faulty or worn until weeks or months later unless you can see the water puddling around it. Many appliances leak from the back where the damage isn't obvious right away. 

Weather

Boston is no stranger to adverse weather, which can sometimes lead to flooding and water damage in homes and businesses. For example, heavy rains and significant snowmelt could overwhelm drainage systems, causing water to back up inside a building. Intense winds can also damage roofing shingles and allow rainwater to seep inside. 

Air Conditioning Leaks

You might not think about your HVAC system causing water damage, but it could. When air conditioners work correctly, they absorb heat and moisture from indoor air during a heat transfer. The moisture condenses inside the system before going into an overflow pan or drain pan. 

The water inside the drain pan then goes outside of the property by way of the condensate line. However, if the line has a clog, the pan will overflow. Water can leak from the overflow pan if that component suffers damage or if the air conditioner's drainage system malfunctions. 

Roofing Issues 

Water damage in Boston isn't always a major event. Sometimes the damage occurs slowly over time from something as small as a minor roof leak. 

Unless you regularly keep up with your roof's maintenance, you might not be aware of loose shingles or small penetrations that allow moisture to get into the roofing system's underlayment. It only takes an inch of water to create several pounds of weight on roofing, which will eventually cause the structure to weaken and allow water inside your home. 

Loose shingles aren't the only thing to cause roof leaks. Damaged roof membranes, neglected drainage, and faulty perimeter flashing can also be problematic.

Faulty Sump Pumps

If your home has a basement, it should also have a sump pump. A sump pump is a device that draws water from a basin in the lowest part of a basement or crawlspace to prevent flooding. Without a functional device, your basement is vulnerable to moisture seepage from groundwater, cracks in the foundation, and other sources.

Ensure your sump pump works correctly by regularly inspecting it for leaks and other damage, like a float switch stuck in the "on" or "off" position. 

Turn to SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham and Quincy for Boston Water Damage Restoration

Our team at SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham and Quincy understand how overwhelming and stressful water damage in Boston can be. That's why we proudly offer residential and commercial restoration services including water and fire damage restoration, mold removal, and storm cleanup.

With our IICRC accreditation, an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and advanced cleaning equipment, we're confident in our ability to mitigate water damage and restore properties. Call (781) 337-0344 or fill out our contact form to request help from SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham and Quincy in Boston.

Does Insurance Cover Flood Cleanup?

11/7/2023 (Permalink)

Flood Cleanup Insurance Learn more about homeowners insurance policies and flood cleanup coverage.

There is often a lot of confusion around what is and isn’t covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. One of the biggest misunderstandings surrounds water and flood damage. Many people don’t know whether a water intrusion event is covered by their insurance company because they don’t know how it is classified.

In order to learn more about how insurance and flood cleanup coverage works, homeowners should keep reading this guide from SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy. Throughout their time offering flood cleanup services in Weymouth and the surrounding areas, they have had the opportunity to help countless customers with their insurance claims. Therefore, they can provide more information on how to get flood cleanup insurance coverage.

What is the Difference Between Water Damage and Flood Damage?

In general, most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage. However, they may cover other water intrusion events. Therefore, it’s important that homeowners understand what types of events are considered water damage and what events would be classified as flood damage. 

Water Damage

Most homeowners insurance policies classify an event as water damage if the source of the water came from within the home, such as a faulty appliance or plumbing issue. They may even cover a leaking roof or air conditioner. The one catch is that they may not cover water damage that could have been prevented.

Flood Damage

When it comes to classifying an event as flood damage, the source of the water usually has to be natural. In many cases, it’s caused by a natural disaster, such as a severe storm or hurricane. Insurance companies may also consider it flood damage if there was a sump pump failure or ongoing leak. 

Since the terms water damage and flood damage are often used interchangeably, it’s important that homeowners refer to their specific policy to see what coverage they have. If they still have questions, the best solution is to contact the insurance company for clarification.

Does Rain Damage Count as Flood Damage?

As mentioned, flooding from severe storms is often counted as flood damage, but rain damage can go either way, depending on whether or not the rain caused a flooding event. Rain damage from a leaking roof is typically classified as storm damage instead of a flood. Therefore, many insurance providers will cover these types of losses.

If, on the other hand, a storm was so severe that it caused a flash flood, the damage from that rain would be considered flood damage. This type of event would not be covered by a standard insurance policy. However, there are ways that homeowners can protect themselves in case of flooding events.

What is Flood Insurance?

Flood insurance is an entirely separate policy that is specifically used to cover buildings impacted by floodwater. It may cover some rainwater damage, but it is mostly used to provide coverage for losses caused by natural disasters. These can include hurricanes, overflown lakes, or ocean water. 

In some areas where flooding is more common, homeowners may be required to take out a flood insurance policy while they pay off their mortgage. However, it can also be a sound investment for people who own their homes. 

Flood insurance can be taken out to cover the building, personal property, or both. Examples of items covered by flood insurance include:

  • Appliances
  • The Home & Foundation
  • Carpet
  • Curtains
  • Detached Garages
  • Permanently Installed Features

What Isn’t Covered by Flood Insurance?

Though there are many things that are covered under the umbrella of flood insurance, there are still many items or expenses that aren’t covered by the standard flood insurance policy. In general, homeowners will not be reimbursed for additional living expenses or financial losses from interruptions to business. 

Any mold, mildew, or moisture not caused by the flooding event will not be covered either. Many insurance companies also limit coverage to the building itself and the property inside. This means that they usually won’t cover fences, wells, hot tubs, swimming pools, septic systems, or other property features outside of the insured building.

These are just general guidelines, however. Homeowners can modify policies with riders to make sure their coverage fits their specific needs. Therefore, it’s important that homeowners contact their insurance company to find out more about their coverage.

Get Professional Assistance with Filing a Claim for a Flood Cleanup

Fortunately, homeowners don’t have to stress over filing a claim for their flood cleanup. Professional restoration companies like SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy can take care of the entire claims process.

To learn more about their full-service flood cleanup solutions, submit their online contact form. A helpful representative will then reach out to provide more information. Homeowners can also call the 24/7 emergency number for immediate flood damage assistance. 

Creating a Fire Escape and Restoration Plan for Your Business

11/1/2023 (Permalink)

commercial fire damage restoration Don’t panic when a fire happens! Learn how your business can prepare for safe evacuations and effective fire damage restorations.

No one wants to experience a fire. They are traumatic, destructive, and dangerous. However, the reality is that it can happen at any time. For that reason, it’s important that businesses make sure they are prepared for the disaster if it should occur. In fact, it’s vital that owners create and communicate their evacuation plans with their employees to ensure everyone’s safety. 

Preparations shouldn’t end with a basic fire escape plan, though. For the best results, businesses should also make sure that they are prepared for the restoration process that follows the evacuation. Otherwise, they could waste a lot of time and money while they complete the commercial fire damage restoration in Weymouth, MA.

In order to be safer and more efficient, business owners should keep reading this guide. They’ll learn more about steps they can take to create a safe escape route and an efficient restoration plan.

How to Create a Fire Escape Plan for Your Business

Safety should always be the first priority when considering how to deal with a commercial fire. Therefore, it’s crucial that business owners sit down and truly think of the safest way to help their customers and employees evacuate the building in the event of a fire. The following steps can help create a safe and effective plan.

Prepare for Multiple Scenarios

Fires are unpredictable, so fire evacuation plans should cover multiple scenarios. Listing all of the possibilities can help companies to create an action plan. During this process, it’s important to consider the specific risks that threaten a business and how they can impact a person’s ability to escape safely. 

Define Roles and Responsibilities

To avoid chaos when a fire breaks out, every employee should know their role in the escape plan. The chief fire warden's role should be assigned to an employee who can handle the stressful situation and be responsible for any planning, prepping, or execution of the fire plan. Other roles can include route guides to help employees and customers evacuate calmly and floor monitors to make sure each room is clear.

Highlight Nearest Exits and Create Escape Routes

The best fire evacuation plans should have multiple routes in case of blockages. These routes should be communicated to all employees and displayed for reference throughout the building. They should point everyone towards the nearest exits, which should be clearly marked for fast action. 

Understand Tools and Inspect Them Regularly

Fire codes require businesses to have specific fire safety tools, but they are only useful if employees know how to use them. It’s important to educate employees so that they are familiar with all of the available tools that can help them stay safe. It’s equally important that these tools be inspected routinely as well. For example, companies should test that fire alarm systems, lighting, and sprinklers are working properly.

Preparing for a Fire Restoration

Once everyone has exited the building safely, the hard work of completing a commercial fire damage restoration begins. Business owners should also have a plan for how to handle this process if they want to minimize their downtime. The following steps are the most crucial for successfully bouncing back after a major disaster.

Know Who to Call

First and foremost, companies should immediately know who they are going to call when a fire happens. While 911 is the obvious answer, that’s not the only call that needs to be made. 

Business owners should also know which commercial fire damage restoration company they want to hire. It’s better to have a company picked out before they are needed so that no time is wasted searching the internet for the best local company.

Aside from looking at the restoration crew's experience, business owners should consider the contractor’s availability. Since fires can happen when they are least expected, it’s essential that the restoration company offers 24/7 emergency services.

Decide How to Operate Business

A fire doesn’t mean that a business has to close completely. If the fire is quickly extinguished, a company may be able to safely continue operations while the restoration is completed. However, this only works if the company has a plan in place. They should consider:

  • Where business transactions will take place
  • How many employees will be needed
  • Alternative business locations
  • How downtime will impact finances

Find out More About How to Prepare for a Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Want to know more about how businesses can prepare for a fire? Contact SERVPRO of Weymouth, Hingham, and Quincy. Their commercial fire damage restoration company can provide more insight into their process. They are also available 24/7 for emergency assistance, so local companies should call right away.