Recent Posts

Is Your Ceiling Damp? What to Do?

4/17/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of damp ceiling as a result of unrepaired water damage. This local homeowner recently found themselves with a damp ceiling in their kitchen and called our team to help with the restoration process.

Have you recently glanced up at your ceiling and seen what looks like a shadow and touched it only to realize it’s a damp spot? Or wondered when one spot of your ceiling transformed into a popcorn ceiling with little dots or bubbles all over it? 

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but either of those are signs that you have water in your ceiling, or too much moisture in the room that has nowhere to escape. The moisture issue typically happens in a room with a lot of humidity, like your bathroom or a closet that has an outside wall. 

Note: If your damp ceiling is due to a leak in your roof, or a burst pipe, your first priority should be to fix that by calling a roofer or plumber because that’s not an issue of moisture not being able to escape the room. You don’t want to leave it and have to deal with unrepaired water damage

Here’s what you should do if you think it’s a moisture issue before calling in your local Massachusetts water damage restoration pros to evaluate and remediate your water damage situation. 

  • Invest in a dehumidifier for the room and leave it running (emptying it frequently) to dry out the room
  • Aim a fan directly at the spot on the ceiling where you’ve seen moisture
  • Do you keep the door of this room closed most of the time? Open it more often to let the air and moisture circulate instead of getting stuck in the room
  • Open the windows of the room when you can for further air circulation and moisture reduction 
  • Does this room have an outside wall? Add further insulation to the room above and below the room 

Have you not noticed the moisture or damp ceiling until it became a mold or water damage issue? Contact us here at SERVPRO of Stoneham / Wakefield for an assessment of your water damage in Massachusetts. We offer a six-step water damage restoration process.

How to Remove Smoke and Soot After a Fire

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of our team cleaning a soot covered ceiling that was the result of a fire Our team of certified professionals know how to clean smoke and soot damage that result from a fire. Look at those results!

When there’s a fire inside your home, you want it to be one that you know about, such as a fire flickering in your fireplace on a snowy day, a three-wick candle wafting a pleasant aroma (maybe cinnamon or lemon) into the air, or on a match as you light a birthday cake. Those fires are all fine inside your house. But, unfortunately, home fires do happen and can occur by many different causes, like a kitchen fire or your dryer

Here are tips for home fire damage clean up in Massachusetts, specifically for smoke and soot remnants, after the fire trucks have left and you’ve called your insurance company: 

  • Assess the damage. Was the fire damage to your home contained to one spot, like the stove; one room; an entire floor; or your entire house? If it was a small, contained fire, then you may be able to clean it up yourself. If the fire was a larger scale, you may want to contact fire damage restoration pros like us. 
  • Clean up the soot and smoke in your home. We don’t recommend that you do so yourself, as we offer “magic sponges” that remove soot and smoke damage, but if you want to give it a try, consider one of these home remedies. You can use white vinegar or bleach (separately! Do not mix these two items together) to work on removing soot damage to your home. Even disinfecting wipes could do the trick depending on the amount of damage. One other option is to use the skunk remover for dogs: a mix of ¼ cup of baking soda, 1-2 teaspoons of a mild dishwashing detergent, and 1 quart of Hydrogen Peroxide solution. This bubbles up and works to remove smoke stains.

If you need help with your home fire damage restoration, take a look at the steps of our fire damage restoration process, which includes removal of soot and smoke from all surfaces. Contact us here at SERVPRO of Stoneham / Wakefield for an assessment of your fire damage in Massachusetts.

Employee Spotlight - Patrick Lavigne

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of male owner and general manager Patrick Lavigne Patrick Lavigne Owner and General Manager

As owner, Pat has held almost every position within the company since coming on board in 2010. As a son-in-law to the Harts, Pat joined the family-run business as a trial and has never looked back. Starting on the trucks, Pat learned the nuances and inherent challenges of almost all production positions before settling into his current role as General Manager.

His daily focus of keeping the train on the tracks still allow him to do what he loves most—guiding the growth of his team, both personally and professionally, and helping customers during stressful moments in their lives. “It’s very rewarding when you run into customers years later who still remember the team members that worked in their home or business and want to know how they’re doing. They become like family to each other and it’s incredibly satisfying to be a part of that.”

Pat takes great pride in the franchises’ work ethic and standard of excellence – from customer service to production. He ensures all staff are highly trained and certified for all services provided. “We are a dedicated team that strive for excellence and to show compassion daily. We often meet people after a horrible thing happens in their life or business and hopefully, we are able to put them at ease.”

When Pat isn’t on the job, you can find him spending time with family and friends where he resides in Haverhill with his wife and 2 children. Unless it’s golf season…then you’ll find him on a course anywhere he can play 18!

Certifications:

  • IICRC Certified –
    • Water Damage Restoration
    • Applied Microbial Remediation
    • Fire & Smoke Restoration
    • Applied Structural Drying
    • Commercial Drying
    • Odor Control
  • Lead Safe Certification
  • Unrestricted Construction Supervisors License

How to Fix Cracked Office Complex Windows

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Have you ever been driving and had a rock hit your windshield, resulting in a crack that’s smaller than a quarter? This happens often, especially on our construction-heavy Massachusetts roads. Once there’s a small crack in your windshield, it’s just a matter of time before that crack spreads like a spider web across your windshield, so it’s best to get it replaced as soon as possible. 

The same is true if there’s a wind or hail storm that causes tiny specks of damage or cracks to a window in your office complex. If you don’t take care of that commercial storm damage when you see a crack, you run the risk of rain getting into your office through the window, causing water or flood damage, along with mold and mildew if the water isn’t taken care of quickly. 

Another risk from cracked office windows comes in the form of safety, as it’s a lure to burglars looking to break into your office. If the crack spreads overnight and shatters your window, that provides an easy entryway for anyone that wants to gain access to your office’s records, computers, and other items. 

So, what can you do if you see a crack and can’t get it repaired right away? Here are some options:

  • Place a tarp securely over the window on the outside
  • Place thick packing tape over the crack on each side of the window
  • Board up the window with a large piece or pieces of plywood
  • Use a windshield adhesive that you can purchase at a store

In order to fix the cracked office window completely, you’ll need an epoxy solution with hardener and resin. It’s recommended to leave replacing a cracked window to a professional, as you don’t want to make the crack worse or damage the frame of your window in any way.

Need help with your commercial storm damage that resulted in a cracked window? Trust our Massachusetts commercial storm damage experts at SERVPRO Stoneham/Wakefield to help you with storm remediation, including an assessment and restoration.

Employee Spotlight - Lorne Keplar

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of male key account manager Lorne Keplar Lorne Keplar Key Accounts Manager for Danvers/Ipswich and Stoneham/Wakefield territories.

Meet the newest member of our marketing team, Lorne Keplar! Lorne is the Key Accounts Manager for both the Danvers / Ipswich and Stoneham / Wakefield territories. We asked Lorne to answer a series of questions about himself, and here a few highlights:

Before working at SERVPRO, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

“I sold high-end river and ocean cruises all over the world. It was fun & interesting!”

Three words to best describe you:

“Kind, inquisitive, productive”

What do you like to do in your spare time/on days off?

“I like to watch programming on PBS Masterpiece, read about world news from the BBC, take walks in the neighborhood and local nature areas with my wife, cook good and (mostly) healthy meals from scratch, and talk to my family and nieces and nephews.”

What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?

“That hard work and dedication really do pay off, and that life can get better and better if you love and care for yourself and those around you.”

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

“Bacon. I absolutely love bacon, and even put it on my salads!”

You’re happiest when?

“I am happiest when I have completed my work in a professional and competent manner and received the results and the rewards that come with that. That is when I can relax and engage in recreation, with the knowledge of a job well done.”

Welcome to the team Lorne! We’re happy to have you as part of our SERVPRO family.

What Can Unrepaired Water Damage do to Your House?

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of paint peeling from ceiling as a result of water damage The paint on this kitchen ceiling started to peel as a result of water damage.

If your house is hit by a flood, burst pipe, clogged drain, or water overflow from clogged gutters, the water damage can range from a small leak to a true flood in your basement, laundry room, kitchen, or bathroom. For a flood, it seems obvious that the water damage needs to be repaired. However, if it’s a small leak, you might think you can just wipe up the water and that it will be fine. 

Here’s what you need to know about what the water damage from “just a small leak” could do to your house?

  • Mold damage. Any water residue that’s left behind after a water event can quickly become mold
  • Ceiling damage. Did a pipe burst and water dripped into a downstairs room? Even when the pipe is fixed, the water can still affect the ceiling, causing mold inside the ceiling, bubbles to appear in the paint of the ceiling from where the water is trying to come through, or part of the ceiling to cave in due to the water damage. 
  • Electrical damage. Just like water and oil don’t mix, water and electricity sure don’t mix. Instead, they can spark disaster if they come into contact with each other. If there’s water inside your walls, you won’t know what electric wires are nearby until you have a professional assessment.
  • Wood and drywall damage. Just because you can’t see what’s happening inside your wall, that doesn’t mean the water damage hasn’t occurred. 
  • Foundation damage. That leftover puddle in your basement isn’t just a pool for mosquitoes. Instead, it can also erode the concrete foundation of your home over time, slowly eating away at the floor and causing a hole or holes. These holes can impact the structural foundation of your house. 

Need some help with your water damage remediation in Massachusetts from a company you can trust? Contact our restoration experts at SERVPRO Stoneham/Wakefield for a water damage assessment. We have the technology to see water and water damage in your home that isn’t visible to your eye.

What to do After a Flood in Your Municipality Office

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Water is a welcome sound, and can be soothing, when it’s raining outside your City Hall municipal office window. It’s not so soothing, though, when you hear water dripping from your government office’s sprinkler system or a burst pipe in the ceiling or wall. 

If the flood occurs while you’re in the office, shut off power and get everyone in the office outside, or at least away from the flooded room or rooms. Then, it’s time to deal with the commercial flood damage in your government office.

What’s first? Handle the water. This could be as simple as putting down a bucket, if there’s a leak in the ceiling, or turning off the main water valve to as much as needing to clean up water that has seeped into carpeting through your whole office. 

In a municipality office, flood damage could also impact government records that are still in paper form sitting in filing cases or cardboard boxes. Your next step after shutting off the water valve is to get paper documents out of the way of the water and move them to a dry space. If any papers have been exposed to the water, try to set them out in the sun to dry them out, or you can talk to a flood damage remediation company in Massachusetts like us that have the latest in drying technology.

Reaching out to a commercial flood damage restoration company is your best choice to remediate a large flood in a timely manner, as any moment that your government office is closed is a time that you can’t aid your city or town. In order to deal quickly with a municipality office flood, contact our commercial flood damage experts at SERVPRO Stoneham/Wakefield. We can help you get your municipal offices back in working order, and remediate flood damage to your office walls, carpeting, or ceilings.

Spring Cleaning Tips

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of green street sign reading "Spring cleaning just ahead" National Cleaning Week is March 28th - April 3rd, 2021. Are you up to the challenge?

Do you know that there is a NATIONAL CLEANING WEEK??? According to Wikipedia, it starts on the fourth week of March, at the beginning of the Spring Season. It is a tradition to clean the house thoroughly before or during the Great Lent. 

Here are some tips to make it easier and less stressful: 

  1. Remember it is a week of cleaning, so start with dividing the work by day.  
  1. Tackle the seasonal chores first, like putting away all the Christmas and Valentines’ decorations. Decluttering is the first step. 

In each room, start cleaning from top to bottom, including light fixtures, fans, pics on the walls, and those annoying cobwebs that collect in the corners. Move down the walls by cleaning the windowsills and wiping down baseboards. Vacuum the carpets and clean the floors. 

Last but not least, CHECK SMOKE DETECTOR BATTERIES! 

Additional areas to focus on: 

  • The Kitchen - clean in and out of the cabinets, fridge, stove, oven, dishwasher, and leave as little item as possible on your countertop. 
  • Bathroom - scrub the toilet, the tub, and the sink. 
  • Bedrooms - clean the closet (consider donating some items), clean under the bed, polish the furniture. 
  • Living Room - vacuum and polish the furniture and decorate for the season. 

Remember, if all these tasks become challenging and overwhelming, you can always consider hiring a professional crew. Here at SERVPRO, with more than 30 yrs in business and experienced technicians, we can provide the best Spring-cleaning service experience.  

WE ARE HERE TO HELP. 

Written by Nury Cardoza

A Day at Sweet Paws Rescue | Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of our crew with the team from Sweet Paws Rescue Thank you again to the team over at Sweet Paws Rescue for letting us come in and film!

Way back in July of 2020, SERVPRO had the pleasure of working with Sweet Paws Rescue to clean their facilities. Our crew spent the day completing our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program, which was launched just prior to our visit. The incredible people over at Sweet Paws were kind enough to let our marketing team in to photograph and film the process, and we even got to meet and play with a few of the dogs they had rescued. At the time of our visit, one of the dogs, Molly, had recently had a litter of ten puppies, all of whom already had forever homes lined up and waiting for them when the time came that they could safely leave mom. If you would like to hear more about our day at Sweet Paws Rescue (or just want to see cute clips of puppies), you can click here to watch the video we put together documenting the day. If you are interested in learning more about our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program, give us a call anytime at 781-245-0011!

How to Waterproof Your Basement

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of a flooded basement If you find yourself underwater, give us a call today!

Fieldstone foundations are prevalent here in Massachusetts, especially in older homes, and add a rustic New England touch to a home. However, the spaces between the stones as a foundation also serve as a good entryway to your home for mice, pests, and the dreaded foe of basements: water. 

Keep in mind, though, that water can also get into a basement that doesn’t have a fieldstone foundation. Causes for this can include cracks in the walls and basement windows with wells that spring a leak. 

Should you sell your house for one with a sturdier foundation? Not at all! What you do need to do is shore up your basement to prevent water damage from leaks or floods. 

First, assess the outside of your home. Do you have flowers planted along the sides of your house that you water often? The soil of those pretty flowers could be taking the water and letting it nourish the stems while also directing the water down into the foundation of your home. 

Second, inspect your gutters and drains. They should be taking any run-off water away from your home instead of straight down or worse, tilted towards the side of your house.

Third, look at any basement windows. Is the window flat against the wall, or is there a window well there in the ground? Unless you have piping taking water away from the wells, they can easily collect water, which could seep into your basement over time. Consider adding stones or gravel into the well for a pretty display and something to fend off water. 

Lastly, for a fieldstone foundation or cracks in your walls, consider purchasing water-stop cement that you can mix to a putty and then apply it (using gloves or a knife, please) wherever there’s an open spot or crack. 

If you wind up with water damage in your basement from a cracked wall or a fieldstone foundation, contact our restoration experts at SERVPRO Stoneham/Wakefield for a water damage assessment.