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Fire Safety Around the Backyard | SERVPRO® of Lowell

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Many people relish spring as a favorite season, and what’s not to love? The cold of winter has left us, trees and plants are blooming and beautifying the landscape again, and the outdoors beckon us to activity. We might even get really crazy and do some of that running we said we’d start doing in January.

Spring and summer also bring ample opportunities for outdoor barbecues and gatherings, which in turn also give rise to the number of accidental fires in and around homes.

In fact, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year. But don’t worry—there are a few simple ways you can safeguard your backyard activities from fire this season.

The grill. Let’s start with the biggest culprit of accidental spring and summer fires, the beloved grill. Grills present an inherent fire risk and danger, ubiquitous in society as they may be, but the close combination of flames and combustible elements creates prime opportunity for fires. So play it safe. Only use grills that are in good working order, operated on stable ground and that have no leaks or holes. Keep the grill away from any flammable objects, and don’t forget to clean it regularly. Almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning!

The fire pit. The fire pit is a favorite new home feature, and it encourages social time in a relaxed atmosphere, a situation in which many of us thrive. But again, safety is paramount: Use a grate to keep embers from flying, and put out the fire slowly when you’re done for the same reason. Never leave the fire alone, and never leave children alone with the fire. And keep a bucket of water on hand, not just to extinguish the fire, but to have in case ash escapes the pit and finds the ground.

Chimneys and dryer vents. These are general safety tips, but now’s a good time to take care of them, too. Get rid of ash and soot that can cause a fire hazard when you need the fireplace again in the fall, and check your dryer’s vent pip for dangerous, flammable lint.

Your local SERVPRO technicians are on hand 247 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call or click today and experience the SERVPRO difference.

The Dangers Associated With Thunderstorms

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

Many people who live in areas that are prone to thunderstorms will begin to discount their dangers over time. While thunderstorms happen frequently and often do not cause any serious problems, there is always the potential that significant damages can occur. Thunderstorms always contain high winds and lightning, with hail and flooding being common as well.

Thunderstorms are defined as any storms that produces thunder, which means it is also producing lightning. A severe thunderstorm is any storm with hail that is an inch or more in diameter, and winds of over 58 miles per hour. With these conditions, there are many dangers to be cognisant of, which we will examine below.

What Dangers Can Thunderstorms Cause?

Damage and injury from lightning strikes. Lightning strikes are one of the most dangerous elements of thunderstorms, and it is reported that they cause around 300 injuries every year. This does not include the damage that lightning can cause to homes, such as starting a house fire or felling trees that can then fall on structures. Every thunderstorm also produces lightning, so even if you do not see it, it is a possibility.

Property damage due to hail. While hail does not occur during every storm, if the thunderstorm is classified as severe that means hail will be present. Hail can present serious dangers to property, and can also cause injury if someone is caught outside in the storm. Hail has been known to not only dent cars, but also damage the siding and roofs of homes that are in its path due to the serious speeds it can fall at if conditions are right.

Harm from flash flooding. While people often think that flooding is not a concern in their area, flash flooding can happen nearly anywhere if conditions are right. Backed up drains, overwhelmed ditches and other temporary clogs can quickly cause a flash flood if the rain is significant. Floodwaters can damage homes and cars and also cause serious injury or death—a car can get swept up in just a few inches of water if the current is strong, and this amount can also quickly knock someone off their feet.

Thunderstorms are dangerous and can cause significant damage to homes or commercial spaces. If you have damage due to a thunderstorm, you can count on us to help. Contact us 247 for more information about our storm restoration practices.

3 Tips for Handling Your Home's Sewage Problems

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Unusual odors, gurgling sinks and flooding toilets are indicators that a home is suffering from a sewage backup. A blockage within the pipes prevents the proper water flow, forcing the fluid to exit out of the nearest exit; therefore, simple acts such as washing a load of clothes or taking a warm shower could lead to a major flood as the water moves throughout the system, eventually coming out when it cannot continue to pass. The flooding becomes a sewage hazard and requires particularly cleaning. Homeowners in Lowell MA, should be aware of the following three things that help with sewage cleaning.

1. Locate the Cause of a Toilet Backup
A toilet overflow begins with a complication in the lines. When a backup begins, turn off the main water valve. Begin to observe the area near the spillage. Is something in the commode's drain? Is there a problem in the yard? Observational skills are important here. Look at the drain cleanout. It's either outside in the yard or in the basement. A long pipe wrench may be needed to take it off. Buildup of sewage is a sign of an external issue rather than something internal.

2. Grab the Proper Tools
Sewage cleaning demands proper equipment and materials. Gather the following items to assist in fixing the problem:

  • A plunger
  • An auger or snake
  • Soap
  • Disinfectant cleaner
  • Gloves
  • Dehumidifier

3. Dry and Wash the Area
Clear the clogged pipe with the auger or plunger. Then, run the dehumidifier to extract excess moisture. Wipe off fixtures, walls and flooring with warm water and soap. Discard porous items that have absorbed sewer water. Bacteria have penetrated it, making the object harder to sanitize. If in doubt, contact a sewage cleanup company for assistance. Finish off the project by using a disinfectant throughout the space.
Discover the source of the trouble. With that under control, sewage cleaning may start. Survey contaminated material, removing anything ruined. Then, properly wipe everything down and use cleaner that can effectively kill germs.

How To Clean Up Damage After a Fire

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Fire cleanup takes place in multiple stages. When your commercial property in Lowell , MA , has water, fire and smoke damage, it all has to be dealt with before the building can be rebuilt. Fire restoration specialists take several steps to make sure your building is restored fully.

Water Damage
Before technicians can get to the soot damage done by the fire, they typically have to address the problems the water used to put out the fire left behind. Firefighters must use water liberally to ensure that all flames are extinguished, and this can lead to a lot of water damage. They must inspect and tear out all materials affected:

  • Drywall
  • Insulation
  • Tile
  • Carpet
  • Textiles

Fire Damage
At the same time as the water damage removal is happening, the smoke cleaning crew is likely to remove materials with fire damage as well. If a support beam is burned beyond repair, for example, it has to go. Temporary supports are installed in its place until the final stage of the process when it can be rebuilt.

Soot Damage
The last step of the cleanup phase is soot and smoke damage cleaning. During a fire, these particles get everywhere. They don't just land on surfaces. They also get trapped in corners and cracks. It is not unusual to even find soot damage under floor tiles or in air ducts. To infiltrate all the areas that smoke and soot can go, a thermal fogger may need to be used. It disperses the cleaning agent the same way that a fire disperses smoke so that the detergent can get to every place the particles are hiding. Afterward, an ozone machine may be used to clean the remaining odor from the air.
Fire Damage is only the start of what technicians have to handle during the cleanup stage of the restoration process. Both water and smoke damage must also be cleaned before rebuilding can begin.

Water Damage in a Lowell Hotel

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Among the biggest threats to your Massachusetts hotel is the guests that you attract to the premises. Often people do not treat these rented rooms or the utilities piped to each unit with the same respect and regard as they do in their own home, and as such, negligent accidents can happen at any time. Overflows from sinks and tubs are the most common, often attributed to a malfunctioning or poorly installed failsafe drain system intended to prevent water levels from reaching the brim of the bathroom fixture. The result is substantial water loss in the bathroom areas of a guest’s room that can quickly spread into the main area and to adjoining units without the appropriate mitigation and water removal.

Water Damage in Massachusetts hotels threatens more than just any immediate guests inconvenienced or required to locate. Your ability to handle these emergencies in real-time can often become a direct reflection of your reputation in the community, and can even later bolster more business and repeat business. Even with moderate-sized extraction and drying equipment likely purchased for your maintenance and custodial teams, the best solution is to reach out to skilled professionals like our SERVPRO responders.

The longer that emergencies like this wait for complete drying, the more units and guests that become affected. Not only does this displace more of your paying customers, but it also directly impacts your online rating in forums travelers use to determine the quality of your establishment. Our SERVPRO team can implement multiple extraction tools and drying units suited for the specific scope of the damage present. With the right thorough drying approach, materials like tile and even wood vanity fixtures can avoid getting removed and replaced.

The ability to double-check our efforts with infrared imagery and hygrometers can show management and the hotel owner our progress. This non-invasive approach prevented removal and controlled demolition, where it has not become necessary.

Every hour can mean more disaster and damage to your area hotel, so do not waste time in getting this situation resolved as quickly and confidently as possible. Trust our SERVPRO of Lowell specialists to arrive quickly with a deep inventory of tools and products to help. Give us a call anytime at (978)-454-7577

Property Manager Partnerships

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Property Managers as Partners

The winter months can create significant challenges for property managers. Snow and ice don’t have the predictability of grass and shrubs.   Further, grass and shrubs don’t cause ice damming and pipe freezes.  

How you react to the challenges of winter can set the tone of your relationship with HOAs and association boards come spring and summer. Your clients are likely to forgive you for that which you can’t control so long as they constant progress toward restoration of their lives, starting yesterday.

SERVPRO of Lowell recognizes the urgency to react and to immediately build a recovery plan when we partner with property managers. Winter months aren’t the time for training in front of upset tenants.  Our crews receive technical and service training to identify a situation and do the right thing and to be sensitive to a situation.

Our office works with our partners to make sure documents flow through the right channels which simplifies settlement whether there is a claim or the job is a direct pay. We also anticipate and recognize coverage issues so that tenants and owners understand how the claim will be settled.

The SERVPRO brand is the most recognized and respected brand in the mitigation industry so your first decision to call on SERVPRO of Lowell should be an easy one. No one gets fired for hiring the industry leader.

Snow Storm In Lowell Mass

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Lowell MA is no stranger to wind and ice, but snowstorms are a lot less frequent but not unheard of. Snowstorms can be beautiful to look at but the damage they cause to properties can be massive.

Snowstorms can cause damage to properties like roof collapse from a build-up of snow that puts extreme pressure and weight on week spots on roofs or ice dams which is a backup of ice that is formed in cold temperatures. 

Our highly trained professionals use specialized equipment and advanced training to quickly restore your Lowell area property to pre-storm condition. We’re dedicated to responding immediately, no matter the time or the day. Our crews are ready 24/7, 365. Immediate action helps to minimize secondary damage from water being absorbed into more materials and affecting more of the property.

Keep animals safe in Winter Storms

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Animal lovers want to be sure their pets are safe in storms. SERVPRO of Lowell brings these tips from the Red Cross and others to keep your four-legged friends happy and well.

Protect Your Pets from Winter storms:

- Sight and scent cues are harder to keep in the winter, so make sure your pets have tags, chips, or other identification

- More dogs are lost during the winter than any other season so do not let your dog’s off the leash in a storm

- If there is a storm or it is cold, keep the pets indoors

- Clean up antifreeze as it can be fatal to mammals that drink it

- Let your dogs' coats grow in the winter

- When your pets come in from winter weather, wipe off the paws, legs, and stomach to get rid of salt, ice, and dangerous chemicals

- Make sure that outdoor enclosures are insulated and away from the wind

- Do not let ice or snow drifts block access to shelter, food or water

- Older animals (like older people) are more sensitive to cold and damp than younger ones

- When you prepare your own emergency kit, prepare ones for the animals

- If you evacuate, bring pets because you don't know how long you will be gone

- Arrange for the safety of larger animals that can't come indoors

- Shelters have to allow service animals, but not pets

- Check ahead of time which shelters or motels allow pets

If storm damage hits your Lowell Area home, call SERVPRO of Lowell, MA 24/7. We will repair your home “Like it never even happened.”

Cleaning Up a Leaking Roof

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

What To Do When You Discover A Roof Leak?

A major storm in Lowell MA , did serious damage to many properties, including to the roof of your business. Suddenly, you need a roofing professional not only to fix the exterior but to repair your attic storage space and the ceilings in the upstairs offices. A roof leak may seem small, but it can result in lots of damage. Here's what to do once you've discovered a leak.

1. Check the Roof
If your building has a shingled roof, check for missing shingles. That may give you an idea of how water is getting in. If water is definitely coming through, puncture a small hole that will allow the water to flow out freely. If you leave it intact, water will spread over the ceiling which could cause the whole thing to sag and possibly collapse. A hole gives the water somewhere to go. Put a bucket underneath to catch the water and move furniture and other items out of the way.

2. Move Wet Items
Once belongings are wet, they need to be dried and disinfected. As long as there are no electrical dangers, launder furniture covers, bedding, and other washable items. Air out and clean furniture and rugs. Check for irreparable damage. If something is in poor condition, throw it away.

3. Dry Everything Well
From the attic on down, everything needs to be as dry as possible. Run fans or heaters or open windows to get air circulating through the area. Only once everything is completely dry can any restoration work for the roof leak begin.

4. Call a Restoration Company
A roof leak can cause substantial damage in hard-to-reach areas. Call a water damage restoration  specialist to evaluate the safety of your building before you attempt any repairs yourself. It's important to have everything dry and disinfected to prevent future problems.
A damaged roof can cause extensive issues for your business. Cleaning up properly after storm damage ensures that you have a safe working environment for your company's future.

Commercial Water Cleanup Operations In A Lowell Businesses

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

How SERVPRO can help you clean up your building from water damage.

Lowell businesses deal with more problems from mundane issues like broken water pipes and other plumbing failures.

In a commercial building, initial water removal is often easier than in a private home. Here, there are no carpets or pads to contend with, so our personnel can quickly clear out all standing water from concrete floors using pumps for large amounts, extraction wands for water just covering the surface, and then long-handled squeegees to push any trace amounts out from corners and under machinery to the nearest exit.

If the water source was from a malfunctioning sprinkler, food preparation and packaging surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned and dried. SERVPRO uses cleaning agents designed for the purpose and carefully use them with cloths and brushes when needed to eliminate any possible airborne contaminants that mixed with the water as it fell.

After removing the water from the floor and wiping down other surfaces, our specialists next dry the facility. We use air movers to generate warm, dry air throughout the building. Combined with exhaust fans at main entrances and exits, they force out the damp, inside air and draw moisture out of building materials such as drywall and wood support structure.

If the interior is exceptionally humid, specialists install one or more dehumidifiers to draw moisture out of the air. This action lowers the humidity level and speeds up the natural evaporation process. Once completed, our restoration team examines all preparation and packaging surfaces for any trace amounts of dirt or water for hand-cleaning and drying.

At SERVPRO of Lowell, we understand that being shut down interrupts employee paychecks and can drive away customers to other suppliers. Our restoration teams quickly work to help every business reopen their doors and prevent that from happening. If you need our expertise, call 978-454-7577.