Recent Posts

Grilling Safety Tips

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Grill and deck melted from fire When this grill caught fire on a deck, it nearly burned down the entire house. Remember to stay safe and alert while grilling!

“Hot girl summer” may be a popular term right now, but it’s “hot GRILL summer” that’s always in style. To that end, let’s talk about how to grill safely to prevent house fires. 

Did you know that 10,600 home fires are caused by a grill each year, on average, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)? Many of these house fires could have been prevented. Here’s what you need to know about grilling safely.

  • Although they take more time to grill, charcoal grills only accounted for 12% of the grill house fires, while gas grills caused 84% of the fires. 
  • For gas grill fires, a common denominator was a leak or break in the gas line. Make sure that you examine your grill’s gas line for any tears (possibly by hail damage) before you start it for the first time in the grilling season.
  • Keep your grill clean. Grills that had not been cleaned resulted in 29% of the house fires. 
  • Your grill should always be placed away from your house, and certainly not right next to the side of your house. The last thing you want is a grease fire or explosion to occur on your grill, which then quickly engulfs your home.

If you’ve unfortunately had to deal with grill fire damage, you probably know that SERVPRO can help you with smoke and soot cleanup. But did you know that we also have a full construction division, run by Construction Manager Noel Torrissi, that can help you rebuild after you’ve gone through the checklist of after the fire tasks. 

Our professional team at SERVPRO of Stoneham / Wakefield can simplify your grill-caused fire damage restoration process by helping you with the remediation and rebuilding. Using one expert company for all of your fire damage rebuilding needs alleviates your stress of having to find a contractor on top of everything else, saves you time, and keeps your costs low. 

Contact us here at SERVPRO of Stoneham / Wakefield for an assessment of your grill fire damage in Massachusetts along with a plan for remediation and rebuilding to bring your home back to its pre-grill fire state.

How to Find Hidden Water Damage in Your Home

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

TLC advised us all to not chase waterfalls. That advice should be ignored when the waterfalls are outside because they’re picturesque and should be visited. However, you do not want to see waterfalls in your home in the form of a leaking ceiling. 

That’s a clear sign of water damage that you can see, and you know that you need to take care of it. However, there’s another form that isn’t as obvious as a waterfall in your living room. That type is hidden water damage behind your walls, in your rugs, or inside your ceiling. 

Even if you can’t see the water right in front of you, there are ways you can tell if there might be water damage in or underneath your home that needs to be addressed.

  • A musty smell that wasn’t there before. If your basement or one of your rooms starts smelling musty, there may be hidden water damage that resulted in mildew or mold
  • Bubbles in the paint of your ceiling. Yes, these could be just from steam in your bathroom forming a coat of moisture, especially if they’re on top of your shower, but they could also be caused by water that collected in your ceiling and is popping through the ceiling as a bubble. This is particularly bad if it’s not a pin-sized dot of a bubble and is instead the size of a dinner plate or larger. That water damage should be remediated immediately.
  • Peeling or stained paint on your wall. This is the same as bubbles on the ceiling, except that in this case, the paint could be flaking off or stained from water that has collected in between your drywall and the layers of paint. 
  • An increase in your water bill. Stay on top of what you pay each month. If it has suddenly increased without any uptick in water usage, you could have a hidden water leak. 

Think there’s water damage in your home and you want to be sure? Reach out to the Massachusetts water damage remediation experts at SERVPRO of Stoneham / Wakefield. We have state of the art technology to assess and spot the water damage you can’t see and to restore your home to its pre-water damage state, including drying out precious documents.

Help Parishioners Feel Safe Attending Church Services

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

People have always wanted a sense of community and to be around other people, and nowhere is that more true than gathering for a church service. However, the pandemic changed that quite a bit. According to the Q3 UnStuck Church Report, attendance is back at only 36% of what attendance numbers were pre-pandemic. 

In-person church services provide more of a sense of community and belonging than virtual services, but the fears can outweigh those benefits, prompting people to stay home. 

How can you help your church parishioners feel safe attending church services in person? One way to do so is to have your church deep cleaned and certified as having received a thorough preventative deep cleaning. 

At SERVPRO Stoneham / Wakefield we offer “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned,” which is our proactive viral pathogen deep cleaning. This level of cleaning goes beyond standard janitorial or carpet cleaning thanks to our over 50 years of experience in biochemical spill remediation and decontamination. 

What’s involved in Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned? Your church administrator will meet with us for a consultation to discuss your church’s cleaning needs. Then, using our proprietary EPA-Approved Hospital-Grade cleaning solutions, our certified cleaners will clean your church, adhering to the leading level of cleaning and decontamination standards set by the CDC.

Once your church has been thoroughly cleaned, you’ll receive a shield, digital emblems, and other collateral that shows your church is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. This material will help you bring parishioners back safely into your church’s flock.

Are you looking for a company to professionally clean your church? Reach out to the Massachusetts commercial cleaning experts at SERVPRO of Stoneham / Wakefield. We have state of the art technology that will be used to deep clean your church and help your parishioners feel better about attending in-person church services.

The Power of Business-to-Business Referrals

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know, having a partnership with reputable service companies to refer is a win-win for everyone involved! 

Research shows that 84% of Business-to-Business decision makers start the buying process with a referral. To put it differently, 8 out of 10 businesses start out thinking about who a different business professional told them was good when they begin thinking about who they will hire for a job. 

For instance, if a business has a problem and needs mold removal or remediation, has basement flooding or water damage and needs restoration, has fire damage or needs biohazard cleanup, or has the need for emergency cleaning in general, they are most likely to think about who their plumber, electrician, contractor, or regular cleaner has recommended (SERVPRO). 

On the other hand, when an unfortunate event has occurred at a business and they have called SERVPRO to handle it, they are extremely likely to be asking us who we think will be the right plumber, electrician, contractor, cleaner or other service professional to hire once we are finished with our work. 

Because referral?leads have a 30% higher conversion than leads from any other channel, they turn out to be just about the hottest type of lead you can get in any business. When SERVPRO mentions your business on a jobsite, that referral carries a lot of weight and helps bring you real business. When you mention SERVPRO on a job, your referral helps bring us business too. 

If you take an average of all the different types of industries put together, referrals account for?65% of companies’ new deals. Just think of how important it is for SERVPRO and our partners in the service industry to be referring each other. When you look at the facts, referring each other is always a win-win situation!

Written by Lorne Keplar.

Repairing and Rebuilding after Hail Damage

5/21/2021 (Permalink)

If you’re new to Massachusetts, you probably think hail only falls in the winter. That would make sense since it’s made of ice and water, right? Yes, hail storms can happen in the winter, but they can also happen in the summer. We even had hail, and reported hail damage to homes, last August. 

Has a hail storm hit recently and that’s why you were looking for and found this blog? Consider this your action item to get up and walk around the outside of your house, looking closely for these indicators of hail damage:

  • Holes or gaps in your vinyl siding
  • Dents, chips, or cracks on your roof
  • Holes in your gutters
  • Dents or holes on your deck

Unless you get up on a ladder, you’re not going to be able to see hail damage to your roof. But you can tell if there’s been major hail damage if pieces of your roof’s shingles are lying on the ground. 

Why is this so important? Any hail damage holes, either in your siding or in the roof of your home, can become entry points for rain water to cause water damage and mold. They’re also entryways for bugs or creatures to get inside your home. 

If the only damage is small holes in your vinyl siding, you could try your hand at repairing that yourself with a vinyl siding repair kit or exterior caulking that matches the original siding color. 

But did you know that we also have a full construction division, run by Construction Manager Noel Torrissi, that can help you repair and rebuild your home after hail damage? 

Our professional team at SERVPRO of Stoneham / Wakefield can simplify your hail damage restoration process by helping you with the remediation and rebuilding. 

Contact us here at SERVPRO of Stoneham / Wakefield for an assessment of your hail damage in Massachusetts along with a plan for remediation and rebuilding to bring your home back to its pre-damaged state.

How to Dry Out Water Damaged Documents

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

When you’re dealing with water damage in your home from a basement flood; a burst pipe; or a busted washing machine, your immediate focus is how to get the water to stop and get it out of your home. Once that is over, your thoughts will turn to your belongings, including furniture, rugs, and photo albums.

Your photo albums or loose photos that you have in a box or desk drawer contain years and even decades of irreplaceable memories. The potential for water damaged documents can also include family passports; birth or marriage certificates; and treasured books that can’t be easily replaced if at all. How could you recover those if they were soaked? 

We can help thanks to our state of the art drying technology at SERVPRO Stoneham / Wakefield. Our expert document and drying restoration team uses innovative vacuum freeze-drying techniques, including the same freeze-drying methods used by the Library of Congress to dry valuable historic documents and books. In fact, our vacuum freeze-drying process is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration (GSA). 

We also use gamma irradiation (no, it’s not the same thing as gamma radiation that you probably first learned about due to the Incredible Hulk) technology to safely and effectively sterilize and remove any bacteria from water damaged documents that were involved in a flood or septic tank backup.

Thinking ahead and you want to ensure you have copies of your priceless photos and documents? We also offer the creation of digital versions of your documents that you can access at the touch of a button.

Did you find this blog after a flood or burst pipe that resulted in water damaged documents? We’re your local Massachusetts document drying experts. Contact us here at SERVPRO of Stoneham / Wakefield for help with your water damage remediation.

Fireworks Safety Tips for Your Home

5/8/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of lit sparkler Treat used sparklers and firecrackers like matches. Don't leave them lying around, and douse them with water to be sure they won't relight.

The Fourth of July is a time to spend time outside with family and friends, celebrate America’s freedom, enjoy delicious food and drinks (while grilling safely!), listen to music, and watch the brilliant fireworks explode in the air. 

Are you planning on foregoing town fireworks and shooting off fireworks or using sparklers in your own backyard? Be careful. According to the National Safety Council, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1,300 home fires.

Yes, some of these fires were caused by people using illegal or professional fireworks, but others were due to sparklers or small firecrackers. In the wrong hands, even safe sparklers can wreak havoc with your home and cause fire damage.

The first rule of thumb should be to not use illegal or professional fireworks in your home or backyard. Period. Leave the professional fireworks to the professionals. 

Regarding small firecrackers or sparklers, here are some tips to keep your home safe from fireworks (or gender reveal pyrotechnic devices) fire damage:

  • Don’t let young children use them at all. Older children should be supervised by a sober adult. 
  • Yes, you shouldn’t drink and drive, but you also shouldn’t drink and firework, as your judgment and vision can both be impaired, which can lead to a fire disaster. 
  • Set firecrackers and sparklers off away from the direction of your home or anyone else’s home.
  • Don’t use firecrackers and sparklers inside as your curtains and other furnishings could catch fire.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby. That way, when you’re done with the sparklers and firecrackers, you can douse them in the water rather than just leaving them around your backyard, where they could reactivate and set fire to brush or your home.

If your Fourth of July fireworks caused fire damage in your home, you need the help of your local Massachusetts fire damage restoration experts. Contact us here at SERVPRO of Stoneham / Wakefield for help with your fire damage remediation and rebuilding.

Biohazard Cleanup for Your Medical Office

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

In a medical office, you have to deal with and dispose of biohazardous waste and objects every day, in the form of tubes of blood; bodily fluids; used syringes and needles; contaminated gloves and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); drugs; used specimen slides; and more. 

You have procedures and policies for disposing of these biohazardous substances, but accidents can happen in your medical office that lead to a biohazard emergency. 

If that happens, there are cleaning and disinfection steps you need to follow (as well as having employees tested for potential exposure) to reduce further biohazard exposure to your medical staff and anyone who visits your medical office. 

First, immediately block off or close the area where the biohazard incident happened and provide medical attention to any members of your medical staff or patients that were impacted by the biohazard. 

Then, reach out immediately to a biohazard clean up specialist, who’s trained in OSHA guidelines on how to clean up blood, infectious substances, and other materials that could spread pathogens if they’re left alone, or only wiped up with a paper towel. 

Is biohazardous waste or a biohazard spill really something that you really want your usual staff to have to clean? Do you have the PPE for them, including shoe covers, clothes covering that’s liquid permeable, goggles, and protective gloves? Standard rubber gloves won’t work due to the potential of blood-borne pathogens on the scene like Hepatitis B or C or HIV or needles that might be part of the biohazard incident. 

Who can you trust for your medical office biohazard clean up? Trust our disaster recovery experts at SERVPRO of Stoneham / Wakefield. We have received specialized training in hazardous cleanup and always wear the correct protective equipment along with using state-of-the-art technology and cleaning agents to safely and effectively remove any pathogens. With decades of experience, our biohazard cleanup professionals in Massachusetts will assess your medical office and follow OSHA guidelines and protocols for biohazardous remediation and clean up to make it safe for your medical office to reopen.

Earth Day 2021

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of the attendees of the Earth Day cleanup. Earth Day 2021 Clean-up Crew!

Only in New England could Earth Day events be conducted in winter coats, hats & mittens! But even the cold temps and wind couldn’t keep us away from helping to clean a small corner of our planet. This year, we had the opportunity to work with Bill Connelly from Friends of Lake Quannapowitt, to clean Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield MA. The marketing department crew, Lorne Keplar, Nury Cardoza, Stephanie Maglio, and Jodi Feil, donned winter gear and headed out to collect trash along the banks of the lake and grounds of the adjoining parks and playgrounds.  

SERVPRO is a cleaning company at its core, so getting involved in Earth Day only makes sense to us. In years past we’ve cleaned parks, refurbed homes while working with Rebuilding Together, and handed out trees and flowers to help rebuild our ecosystems. It may not be a basement water damage, or soot damage after a fire, but it’s still at the heart of what we do. And don’t we all want to make the ravages to our environment “Like it never even happened.” 

Lightning Strikes: Damage Repair Tips

4/24/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of First Baptist Church in Wakefield MA on fire after being struck by lightening in 2018 This photo of Wakefield's First Baptist Church from The Boston Globe shows the true extent of the damage a lightening strike can do.

A rain, lightning, and thunderstorm can be soothing and peaceful to watch, but that sense of peace can quickly leave if a bolt of lightning strikes your house. You’ll hear it with a sound that’s akin to an explosion, and your power will most likely go out. 

What do you do after lightning strikes your house and you’ve ensured that no one in your house has been hurt? The first thing you need to do is see if that lightning storm has caused a fire in your house. You’ll either see the fire or smell smoke or a burnt, charred smell. 

If either is the case, get out of your house safely and call the fire department to handle the situation. Once you’re able to be safely back in the house, you’ll want to take care of the resulting smoke and soot damage by hiring a fire damage restoration expert, like SERVPRO. 

If there isn’t a fire, there may still be an impact to the wiring in your house from the bolt of lightning. Look for any of these issues of wiring issues in your house, and have an electrician take a look ASAP to prevent a house fire: 

  • A burning smell, electronic burning odor, or odd odor near your outlets. This is one of the primary warning signals of faulty wiring. If you smell a pungent burning aroma, turn off the power immediately and call an electrician. The electricity may have arced inside the panel, causing a scorched electrical outlet. 
  • Flickering or dimming lights. 
  • An outlet that’s hot to the touch. Your electrical outlet and light switch should never be hot when you touch it. 

If you need help with your lightning storm damage restoration, especially if it resulted in a fire, 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.