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Archived Blog Posts

Mold Damage from a Leaky Chimney| SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Damage from a Leaky Chimney| SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Islands offers effective solutions for mold remediation through an experienced and skilled team.

Recently we responded to a mold issue on Nantucket. The homeowner who lives full-time outside of Massachusetts had planned her annual trip back to Nantucket over the Summer. Upon arriving to the property with her children in tow she immediately smelt the odor of mold and was very concerned for the health and well-being of herself and kids all of whom were highly allergic to microorganisms.  

There Are Three Elements Needed for Mold to Grow

  • Nutrients such as the cellulose structure of walls, cardboard or wood are all considered food sources common in homes that help mold spores thrive and multiple.
  • Inside Moisture or humidity levels above 60%
  • Time is the last factor, it only takes 24 hours of the perfect conditions for mold to begin to grow.

It was obvious that it was a more serious issue than just a closed-up home. The high levels of moisture were extensive in the home causing a strong bacterial odor from the mold spores not visible but nonetheless in the air. She wanted work done immediately because they could not stay at the house because of the concerns she had of health risks for the family.  We responded right away and set up dehumidifiers and air scrubbers to begin the drying and air scrubbing process at the dwelling. The challenge came when it was discovered that the source was a leaking chimney. After a discussion regarding this fact, the homeowner knew she needed to hire a masonry person to fix the source of the water intrusion to the property, the chimney in this case. She also disclosed that she was in the process of selling the property and wanted to make sure that the mold was completely eradicate for any new owners.

As we began our mold remediation we knew there was going to be a probable with reducing the humidity level in the home enough to make a real difference and began to construct containment barriers up while waiting for the chimney issue to be dealt with by the masonry crew.  The days turned to weeks waiting for the chimney to be repaired. Finally, with the source of water intrusion fixed we were able to finish the process of our mold remediation. 

Even though the efforts of the crew to sanitize the home and maintain the humidity levels between 40-60% were inhibited by the fact that the source of water needed to be resolved coupled with the fact that there was no place to put the content because the homeowner did not have any space for a storage pod on the property they decided to seal off one room in the house to store the content.   Not every job is easy to accomplish but we are always dedicated to crossing the finish line for our customers. If you have a mold issue and need help we are just one phone call away.

SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands is trained and certified to eradicate mold for you in your home or business.

What is the SERVPRO® Ready Plan Tool

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

What is the SERVPRO® Ready Plan Tool

The SERVPRO® Ready Plan is a tool for property managers and owners, both residential and commercial. It allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your home or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your home or business.

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have restoration experts available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying. We are also your business’s best resource for mold mitigation and removal. Our Large Loss Division has the expertise to manage the cost and operations of large commercial disaster recovery projects.

Cooking is the Number One Cause of House Fires, According to the National Fire Protection Association

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Cooking is the Number One Cause of House Fires, According to the National Fire Protection Association

 The number one source of house fires is cooking – usually leaving pots or pans unattended on the stove while you run away to do something for “just a minute.” The NFPA says that 40% of all house fires, or an average of 156,600 per year, start this way, causing approximately $853 million in property damage. Two-thirds of the fires started because the food or other materials caught fire.

Fires are more likely to start on a range (57%) as compared to the oven (16%), mainly due to frying. Most injuries occur when the cook tried to put out the fire.

Safety tips for avoiding Kitchen Fires:

  • Be alert when cooking and don’t leave food unattended.
  • Don’t throw water on a grease fire, put a lid on the pan to smother the fire.
  • Keep clothing, pot holders, paper towels and other flammable items away from the stove.
  • Have working smoke detectors in the house and keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case.

Sources: http://www.propertycasualty360.com and National Fire Prevention Association

Home Fires Caused by Dryers and Washing Machines

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Home Fires Caused by Dryers and Washing Machines

 Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

Dryers were involved in 92% of the Washer/Dryer fires; the risk of fire was basically the same for both gas and electric-powered dryers.

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.

Source: National Fire Protection Association and http://www.propertycasualty360.com

How to Decrease Your Mold Exposure

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

How to Decrease Your Mold Exposure

How can people decrease mold exposure?

Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Sensitive individuals should avoid areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas. Inside homes, mold growth can be slowed by controlling humidity levels and ventilating showers and cooking areas.

Specific Recommendations:

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
  • Be sure the home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
  • Clean bathrooms with mold killing products.
  • Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.
  • Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.

What areas have high mold exposures?

  • Antique shops
  • Greenhouses
  • Saunas
  • Farms
  • Mills
  • Construction areas
  • Flower shops
  • Summer cottages
  • Lake Houses

Source: cdc.gov

One Year After Hurricane Harvey

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

One Year After Hurricane Harvey

August 25th marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, the category 4 hurricane that deeply affected the state of Texas one year ago.  Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain in parts of the Houston area, flooding thousands of homes and killing more than 80 people. The devastation was swift, and the recovery is far from over.  SERVPRO® franchises from all over the country were proud to come to the aid of the people whose homes were damaged by the hurricane.  The water damage was catastrophic. The professionals at SERVPRO® worked especially hard during that hurricane and will always be here for you during any New England storm or Nor'easter...faster to any disaster to help you through any type home flood.

Lightning During Storms and House Fires Resulting

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning During Storms and House Fires Resulting

Unlike other types of house fires, which occur more frequently in the winter months, fires in the home caused by lightning are more likely to happen in June, July and August in the late afternoon or early evening. From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.  Lightning is responsible for a number of wildfires as well.

Lightning during storms poses the greatest risk outdoors and frequently strikes the highest point on a structure.

Safety tips During Lightning Storms: 

  • When possible, stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
  • Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
  • Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
  • Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm as metal plumbing is an excellent conductor of electricity.

Source: http://www.propertycasualty360.com and National Fire Protection Association

What Secondary Damage can occur after water damage in your home or commercial building?

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

What Secondary Damage can occur after water damage in your home or commercial building? 

After water leaks or flood damage, if not properly dried and treated, a home or business can develop mold from the moisture left on: wood, tile, carpeting, windows, concrete, and/or other materials/items that were affected.  SERVPRO® of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands strives to prevent secondary damage every time we remediate water damage. Building material and flooring are dried and treated to prevent mold and other allergens/contaminates using specialized equipment and cleaning products.

If water damage is not properly treated, the perfect environment is created for mold spores to grow in your home and to contaminate the air that is breathed.

Should you ever suffer water damage due to: a water heater leak, sink overflow, fire, refrigerator leak, excessive rain, storm damage, leaky roof, flood damage, or any other reason water has invaded your home or business, please know that .  SERVPRO® of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands is here to help.  Faster to Any Disaster

Never Wait When Dealing with Water Damage| SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands  

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Never Wait When Dealing with Water Damage| SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands   SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and The Islands can restore your property affected by fire, mold, water and storm damage.

Never Wait for Water Damage Restoration

We consider water damage the most unforgiving property damage because left untreated it can cause more damage than an initial loss that can end up with a pretty steep price tag. That is why we cannot stress enough to deal with water damage as soon as possible. Please seek the help immediately for the emergency services from a professional water damage restoration company on Cape Cod, because your problems will get exponentially worse with each passing hour.

Water damages are often avoidable, and many are caused by human error. Even when flooding occurs, you can still avoid the worst of the damages if you react quickly. Therefore, you should pay attention to the following, as these are the damages and causes that you need to look out for to save yourself stress.

Causes of Water Damage

It’s easier to prevent water damage if you know what you’re looking for. The most common causes of flooding and water damage include:

  • Burst / leaking pipes
  • Faulty appliances
  • Water tank malfunction
  • Broken sinks, bathtubs or toilets
  • Long term humidity in small spaces and basements
  • Sewage Back up
  • Storms and Flooding conditions

Get Help

For immediate help from a reputable water damage restoration service in Cape Cod, get in touch with SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and The Islands. SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and The Islands uses special equipment designed to remove the humidity from the air and effectively prevent mold. We can arrive at the scene of any home or commercial disaster in no time ready to help you recover. Contact professionals of SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Island by calling us at (508) 888-5985.

Here to Help You Recover from Fire Damage| SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Here to Help You Recover from Fire Damage| SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands, the best professional fire and smoke damage restoration on Cape Cod. We are always here to help!

Recently we were called to help someone recover from a fire damage at their home in Bourne, MA. Typically, the crew would secure the building by boarding up the windows and doors, however this property’s fire took place nine months earlier. However, it is important to note the importance of securing your property immediately after a fire damage to protect your personal belongings and limit liability.

Fire damage is caused by the direct contact of both the heat and flame of the fire. Demolishing of the parts of the dwelling not structural sound happens immediately and we also haul way the debris from the property too!  And with our own construction division it gives us the ability to manage the entire project with no surprises getting you back in your home quickly. Then the crew goes to work on the inside where they clean the content and structure only damaged by the soot and or smoke and are salvageable. Contents are transferred to a secured storage facility. We organize and coordinate all the content cleaning such as clothing and the storage of your furnishings. We can even dry documents, restore your photos, and electronics. And of course, all while working with your insurance carrier to help make the claims process smoother.

As the days turned into weeks we cleaned the entire structure including ceilings, walls, floors, and cabinets.  The smoke can drift through household ducts, where it becomes trapped. We don't cover the smell, we remove it by using special equipment that can remove the smoke odor from your structure. If not properly removed, smoke odor will reoccur, especially during the months with high humidity. The "Thermal Fogging" process takes approximately three days. All work as to come to a halt and the site shut down. Signs are placed on all entrances to the property to warn people that there is thermal fogging in progress. Thermal fogging is the most crucial part of the cleanup process making it like the fire damage never even happened!

After the equipment is pulled, the property gets re-insulated, the walls are sheet rocked and painted, the kitchen and bathrooms are all installed, and the plumbing and electric are finished.  The final touches are all fixtures which are installed and finally the floors get put in.

If you are in need of a restoration company with experience in making fire damage "Like it never even happened." call SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands.

Causes and Prevention for Mold Growth in Cabinets, Kitchen or Closets

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Causes and Prevention for Mold Growth in Cabinets, Kitchen or Closets SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands is a leading name for residential and commercial mold remediation due to water damages.

Mold will grow rapidly, taking over almost any surface in your home, if you let it. Not only is it ugly and unappealing, it can pose serious risks that are detrimental to your health. Mold is commonly found in the least favorable places. This can be your cabinets, kitchen or closets. We SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Island  have seen mold in just about every place you can think of, and we’ve been able to scour it away every time.

Common Causes

Mold thrives best in a combination of three atmospheres; warm, dark, and moist. It lives off of wood, plants, cotton, paper and other similar materials. With just enough oxygen and little ventilation, mold might spread like wildfire. It's upsetting when this very thing happens in your closet. It will rot away the wood, and even worse it will spread to your clothing.

Moisture Level/Condensation

Moisture is a primary factor acting as a catalyst for mold growth. Wardrobes placed near windows or directly against walls tend to hold more humidity. This makes it the perfect place for mold growth, because it has minimal ventilation. To prevent conditions for mold growth, apply proper airflow to reduce moisture.

Soggy Clothing

Some people think it is a good idea to hang up their clothes to dry. There are a multitude reasons behind why they may choose to do this. However hanging your clothes in a dark and close closet is basically inviting mold to grow there. Clothing will take much longer to dry, without airflow or sunlight and time is a component in mold growth. All in all, hang wet clothes in open, well-lit spaces, for efficient drying and mold prevention.

Prevention

Mold growth needs to put in a check to avoid health problems. It is better to seek out mold removal services right away. Mold growth can persist and affect large areas of the house.  Some of the ways to prevent mold growth are:

Special Attention

Give your wardrobe a  little special attention every now and then when you are cleaning. The most effective method is to mix bleach with water to wash mold away. Keep in mind, a bleach may be a little to harsh for wardrobes made up of wood. In such a situation, try using a gentle cleaning solution.

Prevention Methods

One idea for a gentle cleaning solution is to mix half white vinegar and half water. This is acidic enough to remove regular mold and even tough black mold. After removing the mold, wipe the area down with undiluted vinegar to kill spore that may be hanging on.   Some other preventive tactics are:

  • Keep your wardrobe a few centimeters from the wall to avoid condensation.
  • Avoid hanging damp clothes in the closet.
  • When drying clothes, give a space between items to avoid spore growth from one item to another.
  • Go for wire shelves instead of solid shelves to have better air circulation.

Mold removal is necessary for your health and your property. Prevention and restoration are two ways to deal with it. To get effective results, call in the pros from SERVPRO of Upper Cape and the Islands. Our trained restoration technicians have specialized equipment to tackle damages of all sizes. To learn more about our water, storm, or commercial mold remediation; give us a call at (508) 888-5985.

10 Tips to Consider- Eliminate Mold from Commercial Places

7/21/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 10 Tips to Consider- Eliminate Mold from Commercial Places SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Island has professionals that are available 24/7. They preform mold remediation among other commercial services.

10 Tips for Mold Removal at Commercial Places

Closed, damp spaces with a lack of ventilation are susceptible to mold growth. It is often looked at as icky black stuff growing in all the wrong places on your property. You can keep things in check by providing proper airflow, and keeping the area dry. It doesn't matter if the property is residential or commercial. Both can be plagued with mold.

To maintain your health and business reputation  you need to remove mold as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will get worse. Of course, getting rid of mold is not how anyone wants to spend their day.  Fortunately, you won't have to, with the help of  SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands. Their technicians offer mold restoration cape cod through capable hands.

Mold is a nuisance especially in commercial places. It must be  eliminated completely, for legal health purposes and also aesthetic appeal. Following are some tips that will help you avoid mold growth on your property:

Fix Plumbing Issues

Mold is commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms near pipes and faucets. Leaking water makes the area wet or humid. The moisture develops a proper breeding ground for mold. Fixing the pipes can prevent mold from spreading and becoming a serious problem.

Check Property For Leaks

Mold also frequently grows on walls or ceilings. This is often a tell tale sign of unnoticed water damages. At this point you should check the area for possible leaks. Locate any cracks in ceilings, vents, windows, walls or the roof. Once the mold is gone, fix the leak to prevent it from reappearing.

Inspect Air Ducts

If mold starts to form around air vents, then damp duct work is probably the reason behind this. When you run the air conditioner on hot days, condensation is likely to build up. This is the perfect dark and damp environment that leads to mold spores. It also is  a sign that the insulation in your air vents are no longer effective, if present at all. This can be particular difficult place to clean mold.  For effective removal hire the SERVPRO crew.

Thorough Inspection

If you are seeing early mold growth on any part of the premises, it is time to conduct a thorough inspection. By doing this, you can locate the source of the problem and identify what other issues the mold may be a sign of. Furthermore, you can discover places in need of  better airflow.

Antimicrobial Spray and Mildewcide Paint

After removing mold, apply antimicrobial spray as a preventative measure. It also gets rid of the musty smell that tends to emanate from mold and mildew. After treating the area with antimicrobial spray, paint the wall with mildew-resistant primer. This will keep the issue at bay.

Remove Bathtub Mold

Mold around a bathtub or shower can be removed as easily as it grows. Scrub the affected area using bleach or antimicrobial spray. Check to see if you need to seal the grouts, as water penetration can lead to mold and other problems.

Fix Insulation

When there are gaps in insulation, warm air meets cold surfaces, forming condensation. This condition maximizes the chances of mold growth. This happens often near floors, windows, at corners and around lights. Pay attention when cleaning and inspecting to neutralize the risk.

Go for Mold-Resistant Buildings Material

Planning remodel or replace after mold removal? Lower your chances of future issues by using mold resistant materials.

Do consider the above-mentioned tips for removing mold. Furthermore, pay attention to the potential large scale problems that cause mold. For help, contact professionals of SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Island by calling us at (508) 888-5985.

Tasks You Can Safely Do Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives | SERVPRO® of Upper Cape Cod and Islands

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Tasks You Can Safely Do Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives | SERVPRO® of Upper Cape Cod and Islands SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands is a leading name in commercial cleanup and restoration on Cape Cod & the Islands.

Learning you’ve been affected by a home fire is a devastating feeling. While the damage fires cause can often be mitigated with restoration, it’s important to hire a professional to ensure the cleanup is done properly.

Working with a professional has several benefits, including working with the homeowner’s insurance company on your behalf and helping the restoration happen more quickly. However, as you’re waiting for help to arrive, it’s natural to want to do what you can to get started.

While some things should always be left to the professionals, there are a few tasks you can start to get your life back to normal even faster. If you find yourself needing to start on fire restoration ASAP, here are three things you can safely do:

Laundry

As most items will need to be washed several times, if your washer and dryer have not been affected by the fire, starting laundry right away is a great way to help the cleanup process. Begin by washing any clothing, bedding or other machine washable materials with an alkaline cleaner or vinegar solution—but leave delicate fabrics, upholstery and curtains to professional care.

Increased Ventilation

Weather permitting, let outside air into the house as much as possible. Open windows and doors to dissipate the smoke smell, and let them remain open as long as you are able. While the restoration team will bring industrial-grade equipment to aid this process once they arrive, this is a small step you can take toward helping the process along.

Preliminary Cleaning

Non-porous surfaces such as countertops and tile can withstand a preliminary scrub with soap and water to cut through the initial layer of grime. Use a mild dish soap or alkaline cleaner to begin, and let the professionals handle the usage of anything more heavy-duty. If you’re unsure, it’s best to wait for the professionals, as cleaning improperly can result in more severe and even permanent damage to your surfaces.

If your home has been affected by a fire, SERVPRO®’s team of professionals is trained and ready to help.

Is Carpet Cleaning After A Water Damage Needed? | SERVPRO® of Upper Cape Cod and The Islands

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Is Carpet Cleaning After A Water Damage Needed? | SERVPRO® of Upper Cape Cod and The Islands If you’re still unsure if carpet cleaning is a solution for your home, our SERVPRO team of professionals is happy to discuss how it can help!

Carpet cleaning is rarely considered a routine chore by most homeowners. While most assume that vacuuming is sufficient, it often isn’t enough for the heavier debris.

It’s not uncommon for carpet companies to require regular cleaning to maintain the manufacturer’s warranty, but there are several other reasons why carpet cleaning is a wise choice. By extending the life of your carpet, allowing for easier floor maintenance and banishing bugs and mites, carpet cleaning is a smart choice for any homeowners looking to improve the quality and appearance of their floors.

Still not convinced? Here are some ways that carpet cleaning can benefit your home:

Extend the life of your carpet. During home renovations, carpet is often replaced for looking “tired”—which is a simple way to say that it’s been too dirty for too long. Debris serves like sandpaper to carpet fibers, and every time dirty carpet is walked on, it becomes more deeply embedded, tremendously shortening the lifespan.

Have simpler floor maintenance. Though vacuuming handles only the surface dirt and debris, it can happily coexist with regular carpet cleaning to make your routine cleaning much easier! Regularly cleaned carpets are simpler to vacuum because the heavy-duty dirt and debris have already been removed.

Remove mites and bugs. As with any other soft surface, mites and bugs are perfectly content making their home within plush carpet fibers. Thankfully, professional cleaning creates an inhospitable living environment for the critters and staying on a regular schedule will discourage them from coming back.

Improve indoor air. Not only do carpets contain dirt, but there are also more dangerous pollutants and bacteria that can lurk within the fibers. When doors and windows are opened, contaminants from the outside air are whisked into the home. Because vacuuming only handles surface-level debris, the other pollutants are free to degrade indoor air quality until they’re professionally removed.

Remove bacteria and odor of a water damage.
Even if the water damaged isn’t where the carpeted room is doesn’t mean it wasn’t affected. The foot traffic of every person who comes into the house from outside such as the property owners, insurance adjuster and even the SERVPRO team of professionalshelping to clean up the mess are potentially spreading the bacteria from the affected portion of the house to the unaffected section. Carpet cleaning injunction with sanitizing and disinfecting treatments can help limit the bacteria and restore the life of your carpeting. 

13 Essential Points on Undertaking Water Damage Repair

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 13 Essential Points on Undertaking Water Damage Repair Get in touch with SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands day or night. The water damage restoration service in Cape Cod will help you.

13 Things You Should Know About Water Damage Repair

Water is a symbol of well-being for humanity and their surroundings. Its resources are useful to us up until mother nature fights back with storm or flooding. Storm surges, excessive rain or devastating flood are the main sources of water and storm damage. It is the worst condition that any homeowner can face and this is where water damage restoration process becomes crucial, lengthy and painstaking, but not for SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands.

There are many reasons of residential water damage. The most common reason is failure of sump pump, following broken or leaked pipes, washing machine overflow, flood waters or clogged toilets, etc. Moreover, this damage may also be caused due to the ongoing corrosion of the building structure. This leads towards a more destructive processes i.e. rusting of steel, growth of mold, decaying of wood, discoloration of walls, etc. In short, it is a major contributor to loss of property.

Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind:

Shut Down Electricity

Whenever water damage ensues at your property, always shut off the main electricity to prevent accidents and hazards.

Shut Off Water Source

If you find any water leaks through pipes or dishwasher, immediately close taps. Assess the area and do water damage repair.

Wear Safety Gear

Before the water damage and mold restoration professionals step in, carefully inspect the area with proper safety gear to protect yourself.

Remove Damaged Material

If porous materials like fabric and carpets have been soaked in water due to water leakage, you should cut them out, wash them and keep them out in a dry place. However, in some cases shrinking and warping of these materials causes irreversible damage. Also, do not try to pick up water-soaked fabric as it gets considerably heavy.

Inspect Mold Growth

Inspect damaged materials for mildew and mold growth, as it can grow in as little as 24 hours. You need to be aware of toxic mold that might cause health concerns. Don’t try to remove it by yourself. Call for professional help.

Dry Affected Area

Remove moisture from the affected area. You can use fans to circulate air in the damaged areas. If water damage is in large scale, ask SERVPRO crew to dry out carpets, furniture and other affected materials.

Disinfect Damaged Area

Disinfect area to destroy bacteria settled on your furniture, walls and other items.

Check Damage to Ceilings

Constant and unnoticed moisture on the ceilings might cause it to collapse. Therefore, remove damaged ceiling panels first and find out the true source of leak, ensuring no structural damage to rafters.

Exchange Rotten Wood

Exchange rotten woods. Mold or mildew developed on wood flooring must be replaced. Do thorough cleaning with the help of professionals.

Install New Floors

Insulations and underlayment are particularly susceptible to water damage. Moisture trapped underneath is more than often evident of floor damage. Install new waterproof flooring in that particular area.

Paint Your Property

Apply fresh coat of paint after replacement of materials to minimize future water damage.

Claim Property Insurance

If water damage is at disastrous level, you can file insurance claim. Photograph items and areas damaged by water as proof and document the pictures along with insurance statement. Our professionals will help you through the procedure.

Contact Restoration Company

Water damage restoration companies such as SERVPRO are available 24/7 to serve you with highly trained professionals. They clean damaged area efficiently with latest equipment to give you high-quality results.  

Every inch of water damage can deteriorate your property over time. So, get the help of professionals from SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands today by calling at (508) 888-5985.

A Few Short Guidelines on Effective Mold Remediation

6/6/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation A Few Short Guidelines on Effective Mold Remediation SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands is the leading name in residential & commercial mold remediation caused by storm/water damage or flooding.

A List of Useful Pointers on Mold Growth and Its Remedies

Mold can grow anywhere in your home, in the form of multicellular thread like hyphae. However, it is basically found in damp building areas and materials inside the home. It contributes to poor indoor air quality. A major mold infestation is capable of putting your property and even health at risk. Therefore, it needs a quick removal from competent companies such as SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands.

You will be able to recognize it either through its musty smell or its fungal appearance on any probable affected area. If mold growth is left untreated, it may cause health concerns. Whereas, its removal is dependent on a number of factors including size of mold, area of mold growth, mold type and how much damage it has made to your home.

There are many sources of mold damage, and the possibilities include sewage or contaminated water, overflowing water from washing machine, leaks from plumbing, sources of air humidifiers or even poor ventilation, etc.

Whatever the source may be, mold removal is crucial to healthier and greener environment. So, inspect and cleanup your mold problem through professional help.

Fix Plumbing Leaks

As discussed earlier, plumbing leaks can be a possible cause for mold growth. It should be fixed as soon as problem is identified.

Scrub Mold Off Hard Surfaces

If you find any mold growth on hard surfaces, gently scrub it with detergent and water and let it dry.

Throw Away Absorbent Materials

There is a possibility that you might have to throw away porous materials such as carpets and ceiling tiles. Because mold can sneak into the empty crevices of porous materials, hence, it may be impossible to remove it completely.

Never Expose Yourself to Mold

Keep yourself covered with gloves, safety glasses and face mask while cleaning up mold to avoid exposure to mold spores that may give rise to a health concern.

Never Paint Mold-Stained Surfaces

Regular or black mold will cause discoloration and stains on walls. Always remember not to apply paint on stained walls. Firstly, clean up mold and let the surface dry before brushing on a few coat of paint.

Check for Poor Ventilation

One of the possible causes of mold progress is poor ventilation system. Inspect your property and check if there is a proper circulation of air in and out of your house. Any place that is rich in moisture will be a breeding ground for mold.

Seal Off Damaged Area

Don’t forget that water, mold or storm damage of this sort can spread easily if the right conditions are provided. Hence, use protective sheets to cover the damaged area, tapes to protect ducts and floor register opening.

Replace/Remove Damaged Wood

Wood is likely to provide food to mold as it soaks up water. Wipe away mold on surface and rinse with water. Let it dry.

Keep in mind that failure to completely remove mold from affected areas and materials will likely guarantee its return. It is always more effective to call in professional mold restoration companies such as SERVPRO of Upper Cape and the Islands. Our skilled crew will ensure the best restoration results to damage of any and all sizes.

For more information about water, storm, mold or commercial mold remediation; call us at (508) 888-5985.

6 Effective Ways to Tackle Commercial Cleaning

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 6 Effective Ways to Tackle Commercial Cleaning SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Islands is a leading name in mold, fire, smoke, water & storm damage for residential & commercial properties.

6 Benefits of Utilizing Commercial Cleaning for Your Business

A cleaner environment is a prerequisite to a harmonious and positive brand image. Commercial cleaning services are offered by a number of companies within Cape Cod, MA. A different number of services are also provided under the banner of commercial cleaning. Today we will be discussing the benefits of getting a proper commercial cleaning service for your business as this procedure helps you to establish a remarkable business identity. Always hire professional companies such as SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands to get your commercial property a thorough cleaning.

Some of the benefits related to professional commercial cleaning are enlisted below:

Positive Professional Appearance

To garner more positive response from your business or even to have a tidy look, professional cleaning is required to achieve such a target. Compare two scenarios; in one, you are walking into a commercial property that has stained carpet, dusty desk, and trash overflowing, and on the other hand, a business premises that has a clean look, smells fresh, and all things are arranged well. Definitely, you will prefer the second one, but to achieve this, commercial cleaning may be necessary. When it is overlooked, different particles or things might get stuck into the water supply of your property leading to water damage. To avoid this problem, get water damage restoration from professional and experienced restoration workers of SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands.

Increased Productivity

Employees are the working hands in an organization or at a commercial place. A clean and fresh workplace makes the employees happy. It provides them a good working environment. A healthy company culture is important to achieve such a successful status. For good health, cleanliness plays a vital role. Dust-free places, clean air ducts and surroundings will free you and your business workers from allergies. It will also boost your business efforts and attract more customers towards you.

Reduced Disease Spread

We all are familiar with the proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Similarly, a purified environment ensured by proper cleaning is essential to reduce any and all health risks. If you are able to provide a safe working environment free from virus, bacteria, and allergens, then your employees will stay healthy and work more happily. A deep cleaning of the entire workplace may be required in order to ward off the spread of disease. It ultimately results in less sick leaves. In some cases, such as commercial kitchens, it is required by law to have the Board of Health inspect and pass your facility to serve the public food. If there are issues that the agent finds are unhealthy they can shut your business down until they are addressed and we can help reduce that down time with our commercial services.

More Storage Spaces

A messy and unarranged place can add to your problems. To avoid this troublesome situation, you need to keep the place clean and tidy. Remove all unwanted material and try to properly arrange and organize everything while cleaning your workplace. This practice will assist you to free up additional storage space for things that are needed most.

Problem Identification  

Cleaning process allows you to inspect the area in great detail. Most of the time, many places that are overlooked give rise to mold. The reason behind this growth may be moisture due to lack of ventilation or water leakage. It is recommended to get better cleanup to avoid mold growth anywhere on your commercial property. Get mold removal from SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands where factory-trained and skilled professionals offered to make your property mold-free.

Extensive Cleaning  

One of the great benefits that we get in commercial cleaning is a thorough cleanup of all the things. Commercial places, be it restaurants, public areas, offices, etc., all consist of many things that need to be cleaned to polish out a proper appearance of your place. Things that should be considered when planning a cleaning round are enlisted below:

  • Carpet and area rug cleaning
  • Drapery and blind cleaning
  • Tile and grout cleaning and restoration
  • Air duct cleaning
  • Upholstery cleaning
  • Floor cleaning and care
  • Walls and windows cleaning

Looking to get hands-on efficient cleaning services that can help you to maintain a clean look at your commercial property? Call SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands to get your cleaning procedure done in minimal time.

For more information regarding commercial cleaning services, give us a call at (508) 888-5985.

Effective Ways to Handle Mold Issues in Residential and Commercial Properties

5/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Effective Ways to Handle Mold Issues in Residential and Commercial Properties SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Islands offers effective solutions for mold remediation through an experienced & skilled team of restoration workers.

A Few Essential Things to Know about Mold Inspection and Remediation

Mold is not just a smelly nuisance. It has the capability of growing in less than 48 hours. It can discolor and damage your property including home and businesses. It can also initiate health concerns if left unchecked. If you have mold exposure then you, other residents in the house, your business customers and employees may experience a number of problems. There is only one way to get rid of these and that is mold removal. It can be a difficult task if you don’t have the right equipment with you. So, hire a professional company such as SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands to get mold remediation through highly trained restoration workers. They will restore your property “Like it never even happened.”

Reasons Behind Mold Growth

The most favorable place for mold to grow are areas with high moisture levels. The reason behind the moisture content may be the lack of ventilation, broken pipes or malfunctioning appliances, disasters such as flooding, plumbing problems or even water damage associated with firefighting efforts. If you find signs of water damage in your house, get it fixed to avoid letting the mold grow. Get help from our professional and experienced company to make your property mold-free.

Mold Inspection

In order to get rid of the problem, the first thing to do is identification. The best way to carry out this job is to take a visit around your property. Thoroughly check all the areas with your premises. The same strategy goes for commercial properties and businesses. Do the following things while inspecting mold:

  • Make a list of the areas that are affected. 
  • Look behind the cabinets in kitchens, laundry rooms, powder rooms, bathrooms, etc.
  • Inspect basement and attic.
  • Have a look behind the cupboards. In addition to this, look into your storerooms or places that have not been opened for a long time.

Mold Remediation

Mold presence is accompanied by a musty odor. The process of deodorizing is a key consideration in the removal process. Mold remediation process is not a DIY step, you need to bring in professional mold removal crew for this task. They use specialized equipment and commercial-grade anti-microbial agents for the removal.

Here’s a four-step remediation process:

  • The first thing to be done is the identification of mold. This procedure can be carried out by using moisture meters, and in advanced approaches, thermal imaging is also used. After this, protocols are designed to overcome moisture issues.
  • Visual inspection of the property is done to figure out what factors may be causing the growth. The conditions are documented for designing a specific testing procedure.
  • Isolation of the area is done in order to protect surrounding areas during the process of removal. The spreading of mold spores is avoided in this step.
  • The affected area is dried out completely to ensure that no water content is left behind.

In homes, the places that get most easily affected by mold are bathrooms, kitchens, basements, attics, garages, and laundry rooms. In commercial or municipal buildings; bathrooms and kitchens, cafeterias, gyms with showering or pool areas, HVAC systems, and any area that has high moisture content will be an ideal breeding ground for mold. As told earlier, firefighting efforts may also give rise to mold problems. During firefighting, water leakage can happen and which in turn can create an untidy situation leading to mold growth. Contact SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands to avail fire damage restoration through our highly trained restoration workers. 

To get more information regarding the mold removal, give us a call at (508) 888-5985.

6 Effective Ways to Tackle Commercial Cleaning

5/11/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 6 Effective Ways to Tackle Commercial Cleaning SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Islands is a leading name in mold, fire, smoke, water & storm damage for residential & commercial properties.

6 Benefits of Utilizing Commercial Cleaning for Your Business

A cleaner environment is a prerequisite to a harmonious and positive brand image. Commercial cleaning services are offered by a number of companies within Cape Cod, MA. A different number of services are also provided under the banner of commercial cleaning. Today we will be discussing the benefits of getting a proper commercial cleaning service for your business as this procedure helps you to establish a remarkable business identity. Always hire professional companies such as SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands to get your commercial property a thorough cleaning.

Some of the benefits related to professional commercial cleaning are enlisted below:

Positive Professional Appearance

To garner more positive response from your business or even to have a tidy look, professional cleaning is required to achieve such a target. Compare two scenarios; in one, you are walking into a commercial property that has stained carpet, dusty desk, and trash overflowing, and on the other hand, a business premises that has a clean look, smells fresh, and all things are arranged well. Definitely, you will prefer the second one, but to achieve this, commercial cleaning may be necessary. When it is overlooked, different particles or things might get stuck into the water supply of your property leading to water damage. To avoid this problem, get water damage restoration from professional and experienced restoration workers of SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands.

Increased Productivity

Employees are the working hands in an organization or at a commercial place. A clean and fresh workplace makes the employees happy. It provides them a good working environment. A healthy company culture is important to achieve such a successful status. For good health, cleanliness plays a vital role. Dust-free places, clean air ducts and surroundings will free you and your business workers from allergies. It will also boost your business efforts and attract more customers towards you.

Reduced Disease Spread

We all are familiar with the proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Similarly, a purified environment ensured by proper cleaning is essential to reduce any and all health risks. If you are able to provide a safe working environment free from virus, bacteria, and allergens, then your employees will stay healthy and work more happily. A deep cleaning of the entire workplace may be required in order to ward off the spread of disease. It ultimately results in less sick leaves. In some cases, such as commercial kitchens, it is required by law to have the Board of Health inspect and pass your facility to serve the public food. If there are issues that the agent finds are unhealthy they can shut your business down until they are addressed and we can help reduce that down time with our commercial services.

More Storage Spaces

A messy and unarranged place can add to your problems. To avoid this troublesome situation, you need to keep the place clean and tidy. Remove all unwanted material and try to properly arrange and organize everything while cleaning your workplace. This practice will assist you to free up additional storage space for things that are needed most.

Problem Identification  

Cleaning process allows you to inspect the area in great detail. Most of the time, many places that are overlooked give rise to mold. The reason behind this growth may be moisture due to lack of ventilation or water leakage. It is recommended to get better cleanup to avoid mold growth anywhere on your commercial property. Get mold removal from SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands where factory-trained and skilled professionals offered to make your property mold-free.

Extensive Cleaning  

One of the great benefits that we get in commercial cleaning is a thorough cleanup of all the things. Commercial places, be it restaurants, public areas, offices, etc., all consist of many things that need to be cleaned to polish out a proper appearance of your place. Things that should be considered when planning a cleaning round are enlisted below:

  • Carpet and area rug cleaning
  • Drapery and blind cleaning
  • Tile and grout cleaning and restoration
  • Air duct cleaning
  • Upholstery cleaning
  • Floor cleaning and care
  • Walls and windows cleaning

Looking to get hands-on efficient cleaning services that can help you to maintain a clean look at your commercial property? Call SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands to get your cleaning procedure done in minimal time.

For more information regarding commercial cleaning services, give us a call at (508) 888-5985.

How to Avoid Mold Growth in HVAC, Basements and Attics in Your Home

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How to Avoid Mold Growth in HVAC, Basements and Attics in Your Home SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands offers a wide range of restoration and remediation services for your property.

How to Make Your Year-Round and Seasonal Properties Mold-Free

Mold – a problem indeed if not taken care of effectively. It can grow in the different part of houses. The areas that get affected first and foremost are basements, attics and HVAC systems. The reason behind this is the lack of ventilation, air flow, and excess of water and moisture content. Water acts as a catalyst for mold growth and other factors contribute wholeheartedly as well. The good part is that mold can be treated if you pay attention and hire professional mold removal services who have years of experience.

The following are some of the ways in which we can remove mold from your attics, basements and HVAC systems:

Mold Removal from HVAC Systems

It easily grows in HVAC as moisture, organic material, and temperature within an HVAC system ranges between 32 and 120 degrees. HVAC plays a vital role in our home’s ability to contribute the dispersion of cooling, heating, and ventilation within the structure. Follow the below-enlisted tips to make your HVAC mold-free:

  • Replace air filters on regular basis, once in a month
  • Clean standing water on the drain pans to eliminate chances of microbes that result in mold growth
  • Apply an HVAC mold inhibitor to all components of heating and cooling units while following manufacturer’s instructions
  • Try to keep ducts dry along with fixing water-damaged components, and use a disinfectant in the system
  • Inspect the area where air enters and make it free of a nearby dumpster waste, standing water, bird droppings, etc.

Mold Eradication from Basements

Let’s be honest, basements in most homes are usually overlooked. They are considered as an extra space for storing things, washing clothes, etc. Because of neglect, mold growth is common in basements. Always hire a professional mold restoration service to get rid of any and all growth. Here are a few steps that need to be followed in order to eliminate spore growth:

  • Check the humidity level and ensure there is a place for ventilation, and/or use a dehumidifier
  • Avoid growing plants in the basement and reduce congestion
  • Avoid placing wood in the basement and keep water away from the home so that it may not surround the property
  • Inspect that there is no water leakage in the basement and take care of spills immediately to avoid problems
  • Reduce the humidifying factor and install an exhaust fan. To reduce humidity, avoid drying wet clothes and place appliance exhausts outside the house instead of in a basement to limit the amount of humidity

Limit Mold Growth in Attics

An attic space is often used for the placement of the vents to the bathrooms, kitchen and even the dryer vents to be used to discharge outside through the roof. But sometimes those vents do not make it all the way outside leaving moist air to escape into the attic causing mold to grow. The installation of furnaces, water heater and sometimes poorly insulated ceilings can also be the reason behind mold in attics. Follow this list of steps to avoid mold growth:

  • Don’t place your dryer vent discharge in the attic to avoid water accumulation
  • Proper ceiling insulation should be installed with a clearance to decking surface, otherwise, it will lead to mold growth
  • Heating ducts should be properly insulated
  • Furnaces and water heaters, if installed in the attic, should be contained in a separate room
  • Plumbing vents should be extended to the roof instead of placing them in the attics

These areas need to be inspected from time to time to avoid any mold problem that may arise later on. Houses that are left closed for a long period of time, mostly the houses owned for vacation purposes, are at a greater risk of developing mold due to lack of ventilation, cleanliness, and maintenance. It is better to look for mold when you visit the house and get in touch with experienced and professional restoration services like SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands to get productive results for mold removal.

To inquire more about our mold remediation and HVAC cleanup services, call us at (508) 888-5985.


Effective Ways To Overcome Commercial Cleanup and Restoration

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Effective Ways To Overcome Commercial Cleanup and Restoration SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands is a leading name in commercial cleanup and restoration on Cape Cod and the Islands.

What to Look for in Effective Commercial Restoration Services

Every business owner is very much concerned about the reputation of their business. They want everything to be perfect in order to attract the targeted customers and boast a good business image. Mold growth, fire damage, water damage, sewage problems, etc. are some of the common issues faced by every business owner once in a while. When faced with such a challenge, we need to look for practical and effective solutions. We recommend that you pick the best restoration company to get this task done efficiently and get your business back on track. SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands has many clients from the food industry who we have helped when needed. Due to fire and water damage, our efforts were needed recently to help a local restaurant restore their kitchen area and get them back in business within 36 hours which is a true testimony to our dedication to providing the best restoration services on the Cape and Islands.

The following is an overview of how we handle commercial cleanup and restoration for any and all types of businesses:

Water Damage Restoration

First, we will discuss water damage restoration. It is one of the most common problems faced by any business owner, especially in the food sector; restaurants, cafes, bakeries, etc. Water damage can be due to leakage or blockage of different content within the water pipelines. The steps included in water damage restoration procedure include:

  • Inspection

Firstly, inspection is done by experienced and skilled technicians of SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands. Water damage may have adversely affected walls, rooms, carpets, hardwood, ceiling and other parts of the commercial setting. Hence, after proper identification, a further step will be taken to remediate the issue.

  • Water Removal

Then comes devising a plan for water removal. For this purpose, water vacuums or water pumps are used to drain out the specific areas.

  • Drying

Once the water has been removed, the drying process comes in to eliminate any and all moisture content in the commercial building. If left unchecked, it can lead to mold growth.

  • Cleaning

Then we have proper cleaning and sanitization of all belongings, furniture, walls, ceilings, spaces, surfaces, etc.

  • Restoration

Last, we have the restoration on the list which involves replacement of materials such as drywall or insulation to restore things back to normal.

Sewage Cleanup

Sewage can be a very critical problem in commercial places with frequent visitors. It can be due to leakage/blockage in the pipeline or backflow. It needs to be handled properly to resolve sanitation issues as a clean, fresh and healthy environment is necessary for a business to thrive. The following are the steps taken by sewage cleanup services:

  • Removing sewage water and contaminants in an appropriate manner
  • Removing contaminated content and sanitizing the area
  • Ventilating the areas to dry them out properly
  • Performing repair and restoration work
  • Restoring the place back to normal and performing mold mitigation, if necessary

Mold Remediation

Mold is a common and often overlooked issue as it grows in places that have less airflow, high moisture, and more water content. To get mold remediation services, hire a professional team who uses the latest technique and removal procedures to restore your property to ‘like it never even happened’. Proper inspection and identification of spaces such as bathrooms, cupboards, ceilings, and wall cavities should be tackled first. Ensuring proper ventilation is the key to getting rid of mold at your business or commercial premises.

Fire Restoration

Within a matter of minutes, fire can become the cause of death and large-scale property damage. It can be triggered due to electrical failure, a malfunction in kitchen appliances, etc. After such an unfortunate event, get the help of professionals from an experienced and skilled restoration company to handle the situation carefully. The key functions performed in fire damage restoration are proper inspection, cooling, removal of damaged belongings, and restoring the place back to normal.

Looking to get efficient restoration services with productive results to maintain the look, repute, and profits of your business? Call SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands for sewage cleanup, water damage restoration, fire damage restoration and mold restoration. Our work is completed in minimal time while ensuring high-quality service.

For more information on commercial restoration services, feel free to call us at (508) 888-5985.

5 Guiding Steps for Mold Remediation after a Storm

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 5 Guiding Steps for Mold Remediation after a Storm SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Islands is a leader in the storm damage remediation industry. They offer exceptional water & mold damage restoration.

We know the storms this winter did a lot of damage in our area with widespread flooding and falling trees. It’s during these times when water damage from a storm can leave you exposed to having a mold problem if not cleaned up immediately or professionally. Mold is a fungus that grows in areas that have moisture. Its development in the different areas of the house or office gives off an unpleasant odor coupled with an unaesthetic view. It is an awful sight to look at. It grows in filaments and spreads if left unchecked. The bathrooms, walls, ceilings, kitchen cabinets and wardrobes are a few of the significant spaces that get affected by mold. Recently the towns of Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard were affected by nor’easter storm Skylar, Riley and Cyclone Bomb. Their adverse effects were due to strong winds, snow, and flooding. As we are well aware of the fact that water is one of the important constituents in that help in boosting growth since it creates moisture if left untouched at a space. Read ahead to know how to go about remediation at your property after a storm.

Look at the following five steps that should be followed for basic and quick restoration:

Evaluate Moisture

Assessing spore growth involves more than just looking at what's clearly and visibly growing on the walls or in a corner. First, understand that the reason behind all unwanted spore growth is water and moisture. The ultimate goal is to identify the moisture source and use its location to help locate all mold growth.

Remediation Plan

Before we start the remediation process, it is best to document the situation with photos which is standard with our service. This will be useful for the restoration team and will also help the claim manager from the insurance company to help determine coverage. It will assist in developing a remediation plan, which typically answers questions like work beginning time, work completion time, performing the remediation, any testing that should be done, and will homeowners be temporarily relocated – all things are noted down in this document.

Extent of the Contamination

Mold growth is usually never restricted to one specific area. Hence, you need to calculate the extent of the contamination. This will decide how you approach its removal and clean up. The goal of remediation is to clean up the growth within the home and to avoid exposing residents to large amounts of it.

Mold Remediation

Remediation involves cleaning up existing mold with minimized exposure to one’s self as well as loved ones. The procedure will also prevent new growth by addressing the moisture source based on the calculations of the contamination area. This step is further divided into steps to have an effective approach. Things to be done are:

  • Repairing water problem
  • Isolation of contaminated area
  • Removing soggy materials
  • Discarding damaged, affected and wet materials in plastic bags
  • Cleaning of porous and wood surfaces that have been affected
  • Cleaning all areas along with egress
  • Proper inspection, just to be sure
  • Drying of the materials
  • Repairing or replacement of materials

Determining Successful Cleanup

In the end, we have to be sure that our clean-up efforts after water damage remediation have been successful. It is similar to a judgment call after all the procedure. According to EPA guidelines, look for the following:

  • Verification of moisture problem by revisiting the home soon after remediation and you shouldn't see any signs of recurring water damage
  • Checking for no sign of visible mold, materials damaged by it or any odors that may be there in its presence
  • Residents should be able to occupy or re-occupy the home without aggravated health complaints
  • Depending on your company and the details of the problem, additional testing by an environmental testing company may be considered after the cleanup to be sure enough.

Storm damage brings problems and mold is one of them. It occurs due to flooding, leakages or blockages in the pipes. Hence, it is better to be attentive to the timely inspection of the pipes before the storm. If you’re facing a mold problem, it will be better to call in professionals from a competent restoration company for effective removal of mold.

Call us now at (508) 888-5985.

Effective Ways to Prepare for and Minimalize Storm Damage

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Effective Ways to Prepare for and Minimalize Storm Damage SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands is a team of dedicated storm damage cleanup crew which ensure the best quality restoration and remediation.

Natural calamity is unpredictable and waits for none. It varies in nature and can arrive in form of strong winds or sometimes followed by a flood which further adds difficulties leading to a largescale disaster. Recently the storm effected many different towns on Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard that left considerable damage to homes and businesses. The residents on the East Coast had their lives turned upside down when heavy rains, gusting winds, and snow pummeled States due to the winter storm Skylar which was the third Nor’easter in two weeks. In addition to this, Cyclone Bomb has brought floods and tidal surges into the region. According to reports, six people died when fierce winds brought trees crashing down on roads, homes and surrounding buildings.

These natural events are inevitable. One should always be prepared for the worst and utilize ways to minimize the damage. Due to storms, not only is the property damaged but if it gets flooded, it can also lead to mold growth on visible as well as hidden areas. In such a case, if water damage is left untreated, it can increase the problems you will have to face in that scenario.

Read ahead to know about some of the points that need to be considered in order to reduce the damage:

Reducing Storm Damages

  • First of all, ensure that all drains and gutters are clear of debris to prevent blockages which can lead to more flooding in house if left as is. If the growth progresses, you will have to get professional mold remediation done to keep your house or office fit for health.
  • If it is safe to carry out, check if your pipes and water tanks are insulated to prevent freezing. Secondly, ensure that the release point of overflow pipes is not obstructed. Ideally, you'll have a regular maintenance program in place to keep everything in order.
  • Cut back trees and branches to minimize the risk of broken branches that may fall or are move by the strong storm winds.
  • Secure loose fences so that these remain intact and grounded. The best option is to remove them completely to avoid any unseen problems for the duration of the storm(s).
  • Check that all roof shingles, tiles and aerials are secure. It may be worth seeking professional advice, if needed, to make things better.
  • Make sure all garden furniture, ladders, decorations, etc. are secured and locked away in the shed or inside the house to avoid dispersion from strong winds.
  • As soon as you get official warnings about gale-force winds and floods from the concerned authorities, make sure your children, pet, family, loved ones and neighbors are safe. Ensure that they stay at home and wait it out. If the danger level is higher, evacuate as per official guidelines. Please do not try to repair damage during the storm.
  • It is recommended to maintain a minimum temperature of 55 degrees in the home during severe weather, in particular, to protect pipes from freezing.
  • Last but not the least, if you have home insurance, take a look to know what will be covered in the event of your property being damaged by storm.

Mold Remediation

Mold growth can arise as an aftermath of the storm. During the storm, the pipes, down-spouts or gutters may get blocked, freeze due to winter winds, or cause leakage from roofs and walls after heavy storm rains. Moisture and stagnancy, if left unattended, will trigger mold growth. It is better to inspect the house soon after the storm to assess the damage. If the affected area is large, call in professionals to do the job with specialized equipment and procedures.

For more information on storm damage, water cleanup and mold remediation, call us at (508) 888-5985.

8 Indicators that Your Air Ducts Require a Professional Cleanup

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

General 8 Indicators that Your Air Ducts Require a Professional Cleanup Air duct/HVAC vent cleaning service by SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands is the ideal choice due to their professionalism and efficiency.

The air ducts and HVAC vents within your house are what make your homes breathe, so to speak. It ventilates the air within your house to bring in fresh air for you to breathe. Therefore, it has to be taken care of properly as any disruption in the vent system will lead to compromise in the indoor air quality. SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands knows that there is no hard and fast rule to when you should get the air ducts in your house inspected, cleaned or replaced. However, there are quite a few indicators that will point towards a much-needed air duct cleanup. Also, if you can’t remember the last time any professional cleaned the ducts, it may very well be time for another thorough cleanup.

Here are few indications that will help you in determining whether you need to get the air ducts cleaned or not:

Indications of Mold or Mildew

Take a closer look within the visible areas of the ductwork and check for indications of slime, mildew, mold or any other microbial growth. If you find any, it will have to be removed, cleaned and restored properly. Mold spores may cause health concerns in certain individuals, as these will be dispersed freely within the ductwork and the house every time you switch on the heating or air conditioning system. Get proper mold remediation from the skilled, experienced and professional crew of SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands.

Presence of Water Damage

Mold and mildew is always caused in the presence of moisture, and what causes moisture? The abundance of water! Check the air ducts and vents thoroughly and look for any leakages within or without. Any damaged surface will slowly seep in water and pool it in to cause water damage as well as mold damage. Never forget to clear out the source of water damage before beginning to cleanup its symptoms.

Rodent and Vermin Infestation

If you can clearly hear fluttering of wings, scampering of paws, or any other animal noises from within the air ducts, you will have to get help from professional cleanup services. Similarly call them in also if you can find evidence of animal droppings, nests, eggs, feathers, skin, etc. The best way to stop such invasion is to seal off entry and exit points of the ductwork with proper-sized meshwork.

Unpleasant and Foul Odors

Any kind of unpleasant, foul, offensive, rotten or musty odor that is pouring forth from the air vents needs to be checked. Usually, a musty odor is an indication of mold growth whereas other foul odors can be from a number of reasons such as dead animals, insects, vermin, etc. Ensure that your air ducts are free of any such sources of unwanted odors. 

HVAC Airflow is Restricted

Another reason for getting the air ducts cleaned is because it greatly affects the efficiency of your air conditioning and heating system. A restricted airflow in the air ducts will cause the back-end machinery to overwork and even break down. There may be quite a few reasons for blockage of normal airflow including accumulation of dust, debris, vermin, insects, rodents, dead birds, bird nests, etc. Get the ductwork cleaned for maximum flow of clean and fresh air.

The Ductwork is Damaged

There are many kinds of ductwork installed these days including the conventional metal sheet ducts and fiberglass. Over the course of years, these may get damaged, broken, unsealed, affected by wear and tear, or even get gaping holes for one reason or the other. Inspect the ductwork, and if you see damage, get in touch with professionals to get it fixed. Any damage will increase the likelihood of indoor air quality being compromised.

Signs of Dust and Debris

If the air ducts in your house are visibly blowing out particles of debris, dust, cobweb, etc., then it is surely time that you get them cleaned. Any delay may elevate the situation and cause unwelcomed health hazards. It is natural for HVAC network to accumulate a good amount of dust, debris and even cobwebs over the years. Hence, if it has been years since the last air duct cleanup, call in the professionals as soon as possible.

Unexplained Health Issues

Because of poor indoor air quality due to any one of the reasons we mentioned earlier, you and your family may be prone to a number of health concerns. If there is a sudden appearance of unexplained illness, allergies, etc., it may be because of unhealthy, dirty, and affected HVAC vents. We, at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands, advise that you get the ductwork inspected, and if required, cleaned professionally. The safety and health of you and your loved ones is a priority for us.

If you’re a resident of Cape Cod, MA and looking for a reliable air duct and HVAC vent cleaning service, then SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands is the choice for you. Get in touch now at (508) 888-5985.

10 Tips for Cleaning and Removing Fire and Smoke Damage Odors

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 10 Tips for Cleaning and Removing Fire and Smoke Damage Odors SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Islands is a leader in fire, smoke, water, storm and mold damage restoration of residential or commercial disasters.

A fire accident is not only injurious to the health of residents of the house at the time of the accident but also quite damaging if not treated properly through professional means. A fire and smoke damage restoration company will ensure that once the green light has been given by the firefighters, your house is made habitable, safe, clean and healthy once again. In their efforts, they will get rid of any and all supplementary hazards. These include unintentional water damage caused by the firefighting efforts, accumulation of hazardous soot, unhealthy levels of smoke odor, etc.

Depending majorly on the size of the fire, exposure time and the amount of material burned, the reconstruction and restoration service will enable you to get your life back on track in minimal time. Our professional crew from SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands will clean and restore every nook and cranny of your house, and leave it to you with extraordinary results. It will be “like it never even happened”.

The following are a few tips that we know will be useful in cleaning, removing unwanted smoke odor:

Fabrics & Textiles

All kinds of textiles and fabrics such as blankets, cushions, covers, curtains, etc. should immediately be removed. Wash these, or get them dry cleaned. Store the fresh, clean textiles outside of the affected areas until all is clear and clean inside.

Entire Windows

All kinds of windows, and window shades, screens, panes, frames and sills should be cleaned properly with the right cleaning solution. Use a solution of hot water and vinegar to eradicate tougher residues from blinds, sills and frames. Always use a specific wood-friendly cleaner for wooden surfaces and blinds.

Window Screens & Mesh

For the window screens and mesh, a mixture of or independently-used shampoo or dish soap will be enough. Rinse, clean, and repeat until desired result is achieved. Dry these with fresh air or via a fan.

All Solid Surfaces

For all solid surfaces, use a mixture of white vinegar, warm water and dish soap to cleanup thoroughly. This will be effective for removal of smoke particles from walls, doors, ceilings, door frame, cabinets, shelves, baseboards, furniture, etc. Dry out whatever you can out in the sun on a windy/sunny day. Sunlight coupled with fresh air will aid in eradicating unwanted odors. Similarly, clean all fixtures, switches, piping, etc.

Uncarpeted Floors

The mixture of warm water, white vinegar and dish soap is also effective for all uncarpeted floors. Use a mop, and after cleaning, wash it under running water. Get the mop cleaned before heading for another mopping session or else you’ll only be dispersing the particles onto the surfaces once again.

Upholstery & Carpets

Carpets and upholstery is among the most challenging surfaces to clean when affected by fire, water and smoke. The fibrous materials absorb smoke particles deep within, which is why they have to be cleaned effectively. Sprinkle baking soda and leave it be to absorb all undesired odor. Use a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner to siphon out the particles and clean it.

Painted Surfaces

After a fire incident, it is advised to repaint the house for safer and cleaner walls. However, you can make use of cleaning products that contain ammonia or glycol to clean off walls. These are helpful in neutralizing odors. Clean properly and let dry completely.

Primers & Latex Paints

Most professionals recommend using a primer to hold off all unpleasant odors. Latex paints are beneficial in finishing off the last coat of the paint job. These will keep the surfaces smelling pleasant and fresh.

Air Out the House

You will be required to air out the house after the cleanup. Use fans, air blowers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, etc. to get the desired result. Ventilate properly by keeping one entry point and one exit point for the circulation of fresh air. It will help remove odor from every corner of the house.

Airducts & HVAC Vents

After fire and smoke damage, the HVAC network and airducts within your house are very likely to be contaminated with smoke particles, soot residue, water accumulation and even mold growth. Get it inspected and cleaned properly by professionals from SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands. If the network has been compromised beyond cleanup, it will have to be replaced. Get the airducts and vents cleaned efficiently to ensure good indoor air quality.

For more information on smoke and fire damage reconstruction in Cape Cod, MA, get in touch with our professionals. Call us now at (508) 888-5985.

5 Key Points to Consider for Commercial Cleaning

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial 5 Key Points to Consider for Commercial Cleaning SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands offers commercial cleaning services; HVAC duct, carpet, floor, kitchen cleaning and mold remediation.

Whether your Cape Cod business is a for-profit or a non-profit a polished image is the best image to have.

Many offices and commercial buildings have a regular cleaning crew that takes care of everyday cleaning needs within and without the premises. However, this cleaning may not be sufficient in terms of completely getting rid of deeper and tougher stains, and even mold damage. Despite the fact that offices are mostly used and frequented during the daytime, there are not completely free of wear and tear or accumulation of dust, dirt, etc. This is why you have to consider professional cleaners that will take good care of your commercial property and clean and maintain it. SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands is available to help you out in this regard.

Here are five key points that need to be considered in terms of commercial cleaning:

Cleaning of HVAC Ducts

There is no sure shot way of knowing when you should consider getting the HVAC and air ducts at your premises clean. However, there are many pointers that can indicate that it is better to clean up the vents. If you are certain that the HVAC and air ducts have remained untouched for months or even years, then consult professional vent cleaners immediately. These hidden, dark tunnels are prone to high amounts of dust, dirt, debris, pet hair, vermin, pollen, contaminants and even mold accumulation.

Maintenance of Floors

The floors at your commercial setting can be divided into carpeted and non-carpeted floors. The latter has other subcategories such as hard floors which includes tiled and hardwood flooring. There is a targeted method for cleaning all these types. Since carpeted floors are highly susceptible to dust and dirt, they pose a relatively tougher challenge when it comes to cleaning as opposed to other types. A proper cleanup of your floors should be carried out to avoid contaminants from spreading elsewhere in the office.

Detailed Cleaning of Spaces

A great number of modern offices have exposed beams, sophisticated fixtures, wall panels, chandeliers, etc., as an element of style. All these along with drapery and blinds remain uncleaned and ignored for months at a stretch. To preserve the aesthetic finesse, get the help of professional cleaners who will ensure a thorough cleanup of all elements. Even the walls and ceilings need to dusted and cleaned periodically to keep the office environment clean and healthy, and occupants happy and productive.

Deep Cleaning of Kitchens

The kitchens in most commercial spaces experience heavy usage but mostly during the day. It is very common to neglect commercial kitchens as far as deep cleaning is concerned. Many offices and even restaurants maintain the kitchen areas with repeated superficial cleaning. However, this may not be sufficient to get rid of tougher stains such as the ones caused by grease, oil, etc. Ensure that you get the kitchens deep cleaned by professionals after a certain duration since cleaner spaces keep everyone healthy.

Commercial Mold Restoration

There can be many reasons for mold to appear on any surface or area within your commercial property such as water leakages. Dingy, damp and dark areas are highly prone to mold accumulation, especially kitchens, bathrooms, basements, crawl spaces, hard-to-reach nooks, and crannies, etc. Once the mold appears, it starts spreading slowly. It can also pose a health concern for the office occupants. Mold can only be remediated with the help of professionals who handle water and mold damage restoration.

SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands offers competent, professional and effective commercial cleaning service to handle all sorts of cleaning issues for your offices.

For more information, call us at (508) 888-5985.


12 Types of Storms

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 12 Types of Storms SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands is competent storm damage restoration service that will help you restore your property

Don't like the weather on Cape Cod? Wait a minute, it's sure to change!

Being a part of the Cape Cod community, SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands understands the needs and requirements of the locals when it comes to storm damage. Not only are we proactive in our approach towards disaster remediation, but we also ensure that our clients get the best restoration services available. Storms come in all sizes, shapes, and forms, and we understand that our region is prone to seasonal storms of many types. From tropical storms to hurricanes, the Cape Cod residents have braved through it all, and we have always been there to help them get their property back to "Like it never even happened."

Here, we are highlighting the most common types of storms that are prevalent in the Cape Cod, Massachusetts:

Hailstorms

With strong and heavy winds, hail storms can range from moderate to severe type. Based on the size and shape of the ice pellets and hailstones, it can cause minimum to high damage to your property. The size of the pellets can range between 0.2 to 0.5 centimeters in diameter.

Ice Storms

Similar to hail storms, ice storms are also pushed by heavy and strong winds. Instead of carrying hailstones and ice pellets, the ice storm usually brings rain. Due to freezing temperatures, the rain freezes upon falling on the ground or on impact. Ice storms can weaken wooden structures, poles, buildings as these can be responsible for ripping apart grown trees due to the accumulation of weight on the branches.

Snowstorms

When the temperature falls lower than zero, the strong winds spread snowflakes. This kind of storm is called a snow storm. If the storm is prolonged for hours or overnight, it can easily form inches of snow cover. On the weak areas of your property, this accumulation can cause stress and even breakage.

Blizzards

When a snowstorm worsens, it ends up becoming a blizzard. These will have stronger winds of around and over 35 miles per hour. Another indication of blizzards is that these will continue on for hours. The wind damage can become devastating for weaker and standalone structures. The snow that gathers in the storm will impact roofs, windows, etc.

Thunderstorms

When the skies turn dark due to heavy clouds and are accompanied by highly frequent lightning, then it is called a thunderstorm. Moderate to heavy rain may also fall during the thunderstorm, but not always. The severity of winds is relatively low. If the lightning strikes on your property, it will lead to heavy damages and may even cause a fire incident.

Rainstorms

The only difference between a thunderstorm and a rainstorm is that is the former has more concentration of lightning whereas the latter brings with it heavy rainfall. Rainstorms may cause flash flooding which can heavily damage property, especially basements. Water damage and mold remediation will be necessary afterward. The tropical storms are prone to hit the Cape Cod region every five to six years, according to meteorologists.

Windstorms

These storms are composed of very strong and heavy winds which may or may not include rain. However, due to the intensity of the winds, windstorms are accompanied with stones, dust, and even hailstones. This storm is strong enough to uproot trees and cause damage to property, especially the exteriors.

Dust Storms

These storms carry sand particles and dust. The overcast will have a yellowish tint. Such a storm makes breathing and visibility difficult. The damage may not be as heavy as other storms but it can result in accumulation of dust particles in vents and even within houses and offices.

Sandstorm

The content of sandstorms differs from dust storms in the sense that it carries majorly sand. These storms are more common in and around desert areas where the winds carry off a huge amount of sand. When faced with a sandstorm, the property may be damaged moderately to a medium level of intensity.

Cyclones

These are the most severe types of storms that rotate in anti-clockwise or clockwise direction. As these travel, they rip off whatever comes in their way. The destruction level is intense and precautions need to be taken beforehand to avoid damage.

Hurricanes

This is a severe cyclone which has its origin near the equator. It travels north and hence moves counterclockwise. A hurricane is accompanied by heavy rains and violent winds. It destroys everything in its path. Cape Cod suffers the Atlantic hurricane season almost every other year which may or may not affect the region. Meteorologists state that Cape Cod is hit by a violent hurricane every eleven to twelve years.

Tornadoes

This storm is basically a fast whirling wind which rotates clockwise and builds up due to wind pressure. The dust on the ground is forced into the swirl of the tornado. As it passes over urban areas, it rips off the property if the intensity is strong. The tornadoes that hit oceans are called water sprouts.

For any and all storm damage restoration, you can call SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands at (508) 888-5985.


5 Steps for Mold Remediation

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 5 Steps for Mold Remediation Mold removal requires professionals. Contact SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands to get mold remediation in Cape Cod by factory trained, expert

5 Steps for Mold Remediation

Mold growth is a common but very agitating experience for a homeowner since it is an aesthetic and healthy nuisance. It is a fungus that grows in filaments and extends its growth to different areas if it remains unchecked. Proper removal and precautions are a must in order to overcome it. If you are weary of mold growth and are looking for instant, effective mold removal, then you can get in touch with SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands for its services regarding mold remediation in Cape Cod. We offer expert and factory trained restoration crew to bring back the aesthetic appeal of your house.

Here is a list of steps that are included in mold remediation:

Evaluate Moisture Content

The key factor that initiates mold growth is moisture. Assessing moisture content in the premises is very essential. Mold is an invisible invader that covers spaces which might not be visible to the naked eye. This growth will be found behind walls, inside cabinets in kitchens, on walls in a bathroom, behind the bathtubs, and surrounding window or wall near a wardrobe. It is essential to properly check these areas to evaluate the damage. You should take pictures in order to tell the restoration technicians where the mold removal should be carried out.

Analyze Extent of Contamination

Mold growth is not specified to an area as it spreads slowly but eventually to other areas as well. The analysis of its contamination will highlight its impact, according to which its way of clean-up is defined. Mold spores are also a concern that should be kept in mind while analyzing it because proper removal will ensure complete eradication of spores. These spread in the air and can cause health effects for some individuals.

Remediate Mold Contamination

This step involves the removal and clean-up that should be done to clear the affected area. After proper calculation of area, a remediation plan is designed and implemented according to the size of the area whether it is small or isolated. If you are looking to get effective mold restoration in Cape Cod, employ the services of SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands to restore the beauty of your house.

Tips for DIY Cleanup Process

The following are a few tips that are utilized for better cleaning of mold:

  • Repair any and all water leakages as this will fix the moisture content to prevent the growth of mold
  • For isolated areas, cover the surrounding door and window if the affected area is small, but if the area is large, then cover with polyethylene sheets
  • Remove all wet and mold affected materials and items
  • Discard the affected item in a thick biodegradable plastic bag with airtight seal
  • Use mask and gloves to protect yourself
  • For cleaning, wood surfaces and non-porous materials, use a brush and then wipe it with disposable wipes. Numerous cleaners are available in the market. However, you can also use homemade cleaner for mold prevention
  • Properly check the area for dirt. Dry the place properly to minimize the chance of mold growth
  • Repair or completely replace items and materials that have been affected by mold growth

Give It a Final Examination

A complete full examination of the house should be carried out once the cleanup process is done. The affected areas must be monitored first. This will ensure you that the cleanup has been done efficiently. Also, inspect other areas of the house to check for signs of mold growth. Once you are satisfied with the results, you will be ensured with better peace of mind within your house.


5 Things to Do in Case of Flooding in Your House or Business

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage 5 Things to Do in Case of Flooding in Your House or Business I'm not worried anymore because I hired SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands who will help me clean up the flood damage at my business.

What to Do If Your House or Business Floods

The world is unpredictable! No one knows what can happen in the next few minutes of your life. Natural calamities like floods, earthquakes, storms, etc., are inevitable. People get confused and worried when their houses or businesses get flooded. The reason may be natural floods or even unrecognized water leakages. Most people panic when this happens, but it is nothing that cannot be handled. If not you, then with a professional, water damage restoration service in Cape Cod will be able to help you out. SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands has factory trained, skilled restoration crews that will restore your property "Like it never even happened."

Here are a few things to consider if and when your house or business gets flooded:

Locate and Stop the Source

The first thing that should be done in case of leakages in the house or business is to locate the source. Find out whether it is a pipe, the basement, bathroom, etc. If you are unable to do that, shut off the water supply to the whole house. Secondly, turn off electricity to avoid electrical failure and hazards. If you  are unable to do it yourself, call an electrician to carry out this task. If you have insurance, then it is advised to take pictures of the affected area so that the damage can be evaluated and instantly shared with the insurance agent. If affected by a natural flood, stay calm and be patient to carry out all necessary steps.

Assessment of Flood Damage

In case of insurance, after getting a go-ahead, use a pump to remove water, open your door and window for air to assist in drying. Be careful while walking to avoid fall or slip, place all valuable and important things in a dry place. If handling this situation is not your cup of tea, contact SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands for water damage removal in Cape Cod to have instant and effective results.

Calculate Additional Risks

If you are affected by a flood so much so that you have to evacuate your house or business, make sure you return back if and only if the official authorities give a green signal. Be careful when entering the house again and check for electrical supply. Check for any visible damages such as cracks, holes or weakened foundations. Contact utility companies to monitor your water, gas, electric and sewer lines to avoid additional risks.

Health is Always Wealth

Health comes first and you should take precautions to be safe. Even if the water has been cleared, your house or business may still be contaminated with sewage or household chemicals. It is better to use gloves, and wear rubber boots. Do not use food that has been contaminated even in the slightest by flood water. Also, boil the water for drinking use to avoid infection until concerned authorities declare it safe for use.

Mitigation for Mold Growth

Mold problem commonly develops after 48 to 72 hours after a flood. It is better to dry the things; removal of wet carpets and other textile and upholstery is necessary to avoid mold growth. Get in touch with SERVPRO operating from Upper Cape Cod and the Islands for mold remediation in Cape Cod through expert and professional restoration technicians.

Remember to keep in contact with concerned authorities for updates, information, and help. Above all, be safe and secure through the calamity and keep your loved ones safe too.

Yarmouth Fire Damage Restored by SERVPRO

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Yarmouth Fire Damage Restored by SERVPRO SERVPRO, the best professional fire and smoke damage restoration in Cape Cod. We are always here to help!

Yarmouth Fire Damage Remediated by SERVPRO

SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands is a leader in fire damage restoration and it is also a competent, professional mold remediation in Cape Cod. When an unfortunate incident of fire broke out in an apartment complex in Yarmouth, our services were employed for efficient cleanup and restoration. The accidental fire was later determined to be caused by misplacement of a cardboard box near the cooktop which caught fire and spread all over instantly. Yarmouth Fire Department was quick to respond and overcome the fire incident with SERVPRO swooping in the later stage to restore the property. Here’s a short overview of the incident and how we helped. On the afternoon of 25th of April, 2017, a fire broke out in the Unit of a building which is a large multi-building apartment complex. The concerned building has a total of 12 units. One building, in particular, was the first one to call in 911 and report that smoke was being seen from another unit along with fire alarms sounding loud. The Fire Inspectors and Deputy Chief were the first to arrive on the scene. After a small mishap with the supply of water, the firefighters and ambulance were able to stop the fire incident and help the people who lived there. After evacuation, extinguishment, and ventilation, the residents of all units excluding those of Unit burnt in the fire were instructed to go back to their homes.

Heavy Fire and Smoke Damage

Finally, it was reported that the unit was struck by damaged caused by heavy fire and smoke damage. Once the Yarmouth Fire Department was done with their part, SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands was called in for the restoration of the property. Because of the heavy fire and smoke, the premises were considerably damaged. The residue of smoke, fire, soot, and water was everywhere and it had to be cleaned up and the property restored back to its original state. Since SERVPRO is a leading fire restoration service in Cape Cod, we ensured that the restoration left the house in a state where it seemed ‘like it never even happened’.

 Restoration for Fire Damage

There are many things to consider when a professional cleanup and restoration company such as SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands is handling a property damaged by fire. Fire is more than often an unstoppable force and if it is not stopped in time, it devours every nook and cranny of the property. But due to the courage and tireless efforts of our brave fire departments, SERVPRO rarely has to handle a property that has been damaged beyond conventional repair. When conducting fire damage repair in Cape Cod, we have to consider spaces, rooms, furniture, books, electronics, drapery and other textiles that might have been damaged. Soot, ash and other residue is the biggest challenge that SERVPRO faces during the restoration procedure.

SERVPRO, Always There to Help

After the Yarmouth fire incident was handled by the Yarmouth Fire Department, SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands was called in to remediate Unit 1218 of the building apartment complex. With the latest technology, machinery, and skilled professionals, we set to work immediately to restore the damaged unit. Our crew is capable of remediating residential as well as commercial property of any size which has faced damage due to natural calamities or accidents. Within a short duration, SERVPRO managed to complete the cleanup and restoration process to handover the property to its owners. Our quick cleanup ensured that residents returned to their homes as soon as possible.

 For inquiries and questions about Fire Smoke Damage Restoration in Cape Cod, contact us round the clock at (508) 888-5985.

Hurricane Season in Full Force for Cape Cod & the Islands

9/19/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Hurricane Season in Full Force for Cape Cod & the Islands SERVPRO Ready as East Coast Prepares for Jose's Arrival.

After the recent catastrophic devastation at the hands of Hurricane Irma, the Caribbean and the East Coast prepare once again. This time, the threat comes in the name of Hurricane Jose which is swirling its way up slowly. Being the third major hurricane of the year, it is reported by officials to hit coastal areas from Virginia up towards New England. The outer Cape Cod and Boston areas have been issued a hurricane warning. SERVPRO, the leading name in water damage cleanup services is ready to face this challenge. With our 24/7 emergency service available to all in Cape Cod, we aim to minimize the damage caused in the hurricane’s wake. Our professional crew and emergency teams will help you in restoring your property to its formal glory and make it "Like it never even happened."
Here are few things for you to keep in mind regarding Jose and the probable damage it may cause:

A Little About Hurricane Jose
As of 8 am, Tuesday, September 19, 2017, latest update on Hurricane Jose and Hurricane Maria is that tropical storm watches have been issued for areas including Delaware up towards Cape Cod. The National Hurricane Center has stated that Hurricane Jose is “expected to cause direct impacts from Delaware northward to New England.” Jose will have an offshore track but it is predicted that its tropical-storm-force winds will go beyond the conventional center of circulation. It has sustained wind speed of 65 knots (75 mph; 120 km/h). Due to Jose, areas up till New York will see big wave action and erosion. An official Tropical Storm Warning has been issued in Cape Cod, especially Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

DIY Tips before the Storm Hits
First and foremost, communicate with your local authorities to ensure if there has been an evacuation warning. If you are allowed to stay within your homes, then there are quite a few DIY steps that you can manage on your own to minimize the storm damage. Ensure that you have a well-stocked Emergency Kit which includes first-aid kit, food, clothes, emergency items and such. Rehearse evacuation routes with your family members to make sure everyone knows what to do and where to gather. Apart from these, if it is safe for you stay indoors while the storm passes, ensure that you have all windows, doors and vents checked properly. Leave nothing in your lawns and backyards that may fly and damage the windows or exterior. You can contact us for further instructions on how to minimize the storm damage on your property.

SERVPRO Against Hurricane Jose
We are a locally owned company which harbors national storm resources. Since we are from the community and work for the community, we understand the need for restoration efforts that are necessary after a catastrophic disaster. Our company is based in the Upper Cape Cod and the Islands. Hence, we are ready to respond to any emergency call at any time. We pride in being active members of our community. As a reputable water removal service in Cape Cod, SERVPRO always steps up to play its part for the community.

24/7 Emergency Service Available
When dealing with hurricanes, blizzards, floods, tornadoes and the likes, we utilize our vast network of storm teams which are strategically placed. These teams are always on standby to help you in the unfortunate case where your locality gets hit by such a calamity. We have more than 1,700 franchises spread across the nation. As soon as an area is hit, we pool in the resources from our network to focus on local command centers. Their expertise are available for you all through the year. We consider no disaster to be too big as we handle residential and commercial projects of all sizes. The Catastrophic Storm Response Team has handled major disasters in the past such as Katrina, Sandy, Polar Vortex and Chicago floods among others.

We hope, pray and advise that everyone stays safe!
If you have further questions about Water Removal and Storm Damage Restoration in Cape Cod, feel free to contact us anytime at (508) 888-5985. 

Your Perfect Property Rescuers Around Cape Cod

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Your Perfect Property Rescuers Around Cape Cod Equipment is set up after all the flood cuts are complete and the insulation is removed from the wall cavities to ensure the structure dries properly.

Property these days is neither easy to make nor easy to maintain. Getting calls for urgent help as water leakage damage to the property, are very common.

A family in West Yarmouth shuts their house for the winter season and visited another town. While they were gone, a small pin hole sized damage to the water pipe caused slow leakage of the water, all through the winter. When they moved back, they were welcomed by a horrible surprise. The slow water leakage caused seepage which damaged the distemper of the walls. Not only this, constant water leakage made the environment moist, making it favorable for molds to grow and infect the house. With insects and molds infecting the entire house, it was no longer livable. With the fear of losing the property, the family immediately called the best water restoration company in Cape Cod.

What we offer:

As we claim to be available 24/7, we can provide services in emergencies. Home water damage restoration must be treated as soon as it is detected. Our team, comprises of experts who know their job well. They know how to detect water damage and treat it instantly. Our restoration services include a check up of the entire house, finding possibilities of water damage. Then we move to the steps of cleaning up the mess that has been made because of water leakage.

Well Defined Procedure:

Water Damage Cleanup Service is a six-step process which starts with an inspection and ends at a restoration of the loss. As water leakage and damage makes the environment humid and moist, one of the most important steps is drying and dehumidification. Our water damage restoration technicians are the best ones you can get when you are struck with water damage. Having the knowledge and prior experience to tackle the problem is very important.

Worry-less future:

Anyone can have trouble with the water supply in their property. Anything can cause the damage as well. Being responsible citizens, it’s important to contact the right people at the right time. Once you let us in, we will make sure that no more troubles come your way. Water damage can be a nasty business to deal with, if it is not cured and treated properly and adequately, it is most likely to relapse. Water damage can be a disease which doesn’t affect the property only, it affects you, your family, your finances, and your health as well.

As horrid as water damage can become, contacting SERVPRO is inevitable. Being experts in water damage removal and restoring your property to what it was like before, you won’t be able to deny our expertise and excellence. Using the genuine and first quality products and tools, we guarantee repair like no one other can claim.

Water Damage Restoration Service Cape Cod by us has become a need of almost every household around town. Water damages do occur, somewhere in the house, and they should be treated by the ones who know their job and value your investment in them.

Cape Cod Family Suffers Devastating Fire Damage

8/10/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cape Cod Family Suffers Devastating Fire Damage Fire and water damage destroys the personal content of a Sandwich family.

Family in Sandwich, MA Rebuilds Home After Devastating House Fire

Fire damage to your property, either commercial or residential, can be very distressing both financially as well as emotionally. Not only do you lose the things in which you have invested in, but family heirlooms can be damaged or lost forever in a fire. At such crucial times, a family in Sandwich, MA, made one call to us which put them on the road to recovering and rebuilding their home and peace of mind.

Contacting us was the least they could do and the rest of it was up to us. Not only did we restore their house but we also updated the property making the damage “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Damage Repair, Not an Easy Task

We, at SERVPRO, have built our company on the foundations of reliability, trust, convenience, and efficiency. We are trustworthy people who can fix any damage done to your property that troubles you. The range of damage caused by the fire is always extensive. It is not only the fire that causes damage, but also the water from the fire brigade too. Your property gets covered in soot. Fire damage repair requires proper, well trained and knowledgeable technicians.

SERVPRO has the best team of technicians who know their jobs well. They first inspect and identify the damages to your property, and then take steps accordingly.

Fire Restoration Service, Cape Cod

Our services include 24/7 availability and every kind of emergency scenarios are tackled as well. We have a team which is ready to help provide the best fire restoration service, Cape Cod area. Our fire restoration process comprises of six to seven steps in which we clean, repair and restores your property with as little disruption and inconvenience to you as possible.

Smoke and Soot – All Damages Restored!

Soot and smoke can be very tricky when it comes to removing these two completely and restoring and repairing the property that has been damaged because of a fire accident. Our specialists of fire smoke restoration, Cape Cod focus on restoring your property so that you can get back to your routine as soon as possible. We use special cleaning techniques which make the job easier, quicker and more effective.

Why Trust SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and Islands?

Our quality services and quick response have earned us a valuable name in the town, people have always put their faith in SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and Islands because of professionalism and desired results delivered. We are always there whenever a client calls us for help which has earned us a reputation like no other. With least disruption and best quality of material used in the restoration processes, we have always won the trust of our clients.

Restoration Available Round the Clock

We tackle emergencies 24/7 which makes us approachable and available to our clients at any given time. With the best team of specialists a company could have; we make your decision to hire us worthwhile. Our company’s motto is to provide you with the best results and meet your expectations from the beginning to the end. For us, your health and your home, matter the most and this has helped us garner the rightful recognition we hold today.

Plymouth, MA Family Rebuilds Home After Devastating Kitchen Grease Fire

7/6/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Plymouth, MA Family Rebuilds Home After Devastating Kitchen Grease Fire Kitchen fire damages Plymouth, MA home.

Contacting us was the first thing that they did!We took care of the rest of the process from the board up all the way through to the rebuilding of their property. Not only did we restore their house we updated the property making the damage “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Damage Repair not a Child’s Play:

We, at SERVPRO, have constructed our company on the foundation of reliability. We are the trustworthy people who can fix whatever it is that troubles you. The range of damage caused by fire is always very vast. It is not only the fire that causes damage, but the water from the fire brigade also does. Your property gets covered in soot. Fire Damage Repair requires proper, well trained and knowledgeable technicians.

SERVPRO, have the best team of technicians who know their jobs well. They would first inspect and identify the damages to your property and then take steps accordingly.

Fire Restoration Service, Cape Cod:

Our services include 24/7 availability and every kind of emergency scenarios are tackled as well. We have a team who ready to help Fire Restoration Service, Cape Cod. Our fire restoration process comprises of six to seven steps in which we clean, repair and restore your property with as little disruption, as possible.

Smoke and Soot- All damages restored!

Soot and smoke can be very tricky when it comes to removing these two completely and restoring and repairing the property that has been damaged because of a fire accident. Our specialists for Fire Smoke Restoration, Cape Codfocus on restoring your property so that you can be brought back to your routine as soon as possible. They use special cleaning techniques which makes the job easier.

Why trust SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and Islands?

Our quality services and quick response have earned us a valuable name in the town, people have always put their faith in- SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and Islands because of our results and professionalism. We have vowed to be always there whenever anyone calls for help, we have a reputation like no other. With the least disruption, yet the best quality of material used in the restoration process, we have won the trust of our clients.

We tackle emergencies with 24/7 availability which makes us approachable and helpful. Having the best team of specialists, you could have; we make your decision to hire us worthwhile. Giving the best results, and meeting your expectations from the beginning to the end is our company’s motto, we have gained today’s rightful recognition. For us your health and home both matter the most to us.

SERVPRO Repairs a Local School

7/6/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage SERVPRO Repairs a Local School Cape Cod School needs help drying out from water damage.

SERVPRO Repairs a Local School

To make school colorful and more fun for students studying there, schools have installed fish tanks in their buildings. One morning, a local school in outer Cape Cod contacted SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cods and The Islands for help. During the holidays at their school, the fish tank accidently broke, because of some unknown reason. It caused immense water damage in the building which had to be dealt with before the school reopened and students returned.

How We Helped

Because we are available 24/7, we can be of great help whenever someone contacts us with an emergency situation.  Water damage if not treated effectively, can cause a permanent damage to your property. Our water damage cleanup service is provided to our clients by highly specialized technician and experts in water damage and restoration department. Having an immense experience, we guarantee to restore your property to what it looked like before the incident. We analyzed the situation of the school, made the diagnosis and started off with the spilled water treatment.

Procedures-Most Convenient

Clients sometimes show concern that the procedures will cause inconvenience. As experts and after proper studies, we have devised a six step process for water damage restoration. After thorough inspection of the property, we are able to identify the root cause of the damage in no time. Moving further, our aim is on drying and dehumidification of the damaged areas. This prevents the molds from growing in the damp areas. Finally, we work on how we can restore your property and make it as good as new.

SERVPRO has a reputation like no other

It takes years to build up a well reputed company. Not every company gets to win the trust of their clients. For years, we have served our neighbors and friends in Cape Cod. We are a locally owned and operated company with national resources.

Why You Should trust SERVPRO

Once you experience the way we work, you shall be our client always. We provide 24/7 services and best technicians who are experts in their areas. We also have faster service to any sized disaster that may occur. Having always resolved the problems of water damage, our water damage removal service is undoubtedly the best.

Doesn’t matter how big the water damage disaster is, we are always there to help you get back to your routine, through our effective restoration processes. Water Damage Cape Cod and restoration is a service like no other. We work day in and day out, for the satisfaction of our clients with the best technology equipment available. Our trucks are loaded with the best tools and equipment needed for the restoration process.

No matter what the time, just remember that we are only one call away. Water Damage Removal, Cape Cod by us provides efficient services as it’s very important to treat the damage caused by water as soon as possible. Being always at your service, you will not return dissatisfied from our company. We have won the hearts and trust of our clients, and built up our company on core values of honest help. The school was successfully redeemed to its original state and everything was returned to normal.

Knowledge is Power

5/2/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Knowledge is Power Flooding conditions on Nantucket after a storm hits the area.

SERVPRO is a family own and operated company specializing in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property damage of fire or water. We also provide mold inspections and remediation. We work directly your insurance to make an easier and seamless process for the property owner. With our repair/rebuilding services available to you, our team can truly make your property damage, “Like it never even happened.”

Born and raised here on Cape Cod, we understand the concerns and needs people have when their property has a damage; whether residential or commercial. Resolving issues quickly is our number one goal. We want you to feel confident in our services and know that we care about you because we are your neighbors. We believe all members of the team need to be training in property damage.  That training is continuous from initial to more advanced certifications with IICRC. Our team is equipped with the knowledge, equipment and professionalism to restore your property quickly.

Over the years, SERVPRO  has worked with thousands of customers and it is surprising the most common statement we hear is, “I don’t understand my insurance policy.” We find that people in general have little knowledge about how their policies work, what type of coverage they have, what is and isn't covered and basically the entire claims process. After all, we all have busy lives. I thought it may be helpful to write a blog series on these topics in hopes of helping people learn more about something that most of us are required to have in our lives but know very little about.

  • Lesson #1: If you have a mortgage it’s guaranteed that you will be required to have insurance on your property.

 

  • Lesson #2: If you default on your payment to the insurance carrier and the insurance policy and its coverage lapse the bank will secure insurance on your behalf charging you for it, and at a premium price most likely.

 

 Common Question: What Does Insurance  Cover?

That can be a trick question because most policies vary. The things you need to think about are what is the amount of risk or liability covered for an individual or entity by way of insurance services. Insurance coverage is issued by an insurer in the event of an unforeseen or unwanted occurrence. Personal property coverage may not help protect everything you own. You may find that certain types of belongings, such as jewelry or a coin collection, have limited coverage under a standard policy. Some other situations that require additional insurance is water damage or better known as flooding or ground water intrusion. Flooding is not covered under a standard insurance policy.  Another situation that has questionable coverage is sewage backups. Depending on what the source of the backup will determine coverage. Check out your water IQ; Having a good understanding of what is and what is not covered when it comes to insurance coverage is the key to peace of mind before filing a claim.

Know the Lingo

5/2/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard Know the Lingo When vandalism happens to your home or business SERVPRO can make the aftermath, "Like it never even happened."

What is lingo?

It is the language used by a certain group to communicate commonly used word or words to describe a situation. If you are out of the loop with the slang used by a group then it is nearly impossible for you to understand the conversation taking place. The same can be said for homeowners discussing their insurance policies with a carrier, agent or adjuster. Sometimes our job includes being the bridge between the customer and the insurance adjuster. With so many restoration companies to pick from why choose us? It's simple, we are here to help you!

Recently, we were called out to property in East Falmouth that had been broken into while the family was away. The homeowners had called their insurance carrier and the local authorities to report the break in and damage done. Once the police were finished with processing the crime scene and the insurance adjuster had determined the cost of the damage it was our turn to restore the property. Some of the damage included the finger printing powder used by the officers to investigate the crime scene along with the evidence of broken glass, the blood associated with the broken glass and the fire extinguisher residue that was sprayed by the criminals throughout the premises. But the mess did not end there. It was apparent that the party had made its way into the backyard where more damage was done to a fence and shed. In an instance like this one there were so many parties involved in this claim that the property owner felt overwhelmed.  We helped them with the process and though the trauma of the vandalism will never go away completely our team helped to make the damage, “Like it never even happened.”

To better help property owners with these types of situations below is a cheat sheet to help with the lingo needed to reclaim your life after a property damage. We hope that by defining the following "lingo” when dealing with a property damage there is a sense of knowledge and we all know that knowledge is power.

  • Dwelling protection. This coverage typically covers your home and attached structures, like a deck or garage. The key word here is “attached.” I shed or fence may not be covered under a dwelling policy.
  • Personal property protection. From furniture to electronics, this coverage may help pay to replace belongings that are stolen or damaged by a covered loss. You are going to want to make sure you have a list of these items along with appraisals of their value.
  • Other structures protection. This coverage may help pay to repair or replace structures on your property that aren't attached to your home, like a fence, detached garage or shed, if they are damaged by a covered peril. Note: as mentioned above this is not considered dwelling protection.
  • Family liability protection. Accidents can happen. Liability coverage may help protect you if someone is injured on your property and you are found legally responsible for damages. Just because someone is family doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk of being sued.
  • Guest medical protection. If a visitor is injured at your home, this coverage may help pay for their resulting medical expenses. This coverage is a must if you’re the family that is planning the big party after graduation to celebration.
  • Additional living expenses. This coverage may help you pay for temporary increased living costs, such as hotel bills, if you are unable to stay in your home after a fire or other covered loss. We often get asked about this coverage. It’s important to know you have the right to housing if you are unable to stay at your property due to harmful conditions.
  • Deductible. This is basically the amount “deducted” from an insured loss and represent a sharing of the risk between the insurance company and the policyholder. What is my deductible is by far our #1 question from insurers. Look for more information about deductibles with our next blog posting, Know Your Deductible.

 

The Dirty Secrets of a Mice Infestation

6/10/2016 (Permalink)

Biohazard The Dirty Secrets of a Mice Infestation Mice Infestation cleanup by SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands.

With the warm days of Spring come the chores of mulching the flower beds and cleaning the yard up after the winter. Pulling out the outdoor furniture and stacking wood for those parties are other essentials for preparing for the Summer season. Humans are not the only ones who prepare for the upcoming season. However, in many cases property owners find that soon it is discovered that they need to evict wildlife after an unknown "winter rental." The fact they they have made their way into properties for the  winter results in a problem for property owners, especially if the issue is a mice infestation rather than just one unwanted guest there are usually many more than you see. 

Because these rodents are without a skeletal system, they can easily maneuver into tiny spaces to gain entrance to a building. Once they are in, they get behind walls, in attics, basements and crawlspaces where fluffy pink insulation provides the ideal spot for nesting. If you think rabbits multiply, mice can double in population just as easily.

Once you begin to see evidence of the rodents—usually in the form of tiny black feces no bigger than a sesame seed or holes chewed out of food containers in the pantry—you are going to have to address the problem. While getting rid of one or two mice is a one-person job, getting rid of the mess of many requires the expertise of a professional. While exterminators can come in and eradicate the property of the mice infestation, that is where their job ends—leaving the property owner with the clean up. And if there were a significant number of mice inside the structure, the damage and the clean up are going to be far more than just picking up a few droppings or throwing out food from the pantry.Hint: If you suspect a mice infestation, contact a professional immediately.

How To Deter Mice From Entering Your Home

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home or building.
  • Do not leave doors open and this includes the bulkhead.
  • Keep trash in secure buckets outside and away from the house.
  • Dispose of trash on a regular basis.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home or building.

SERVPRO recently has been called onto jobs where the rodents had a field day, practically establishing an entire condominium complex inside the rafters of the basement. They damaged the insulation and contaminated large portions of the property. Our team comes in and removes the killed rodents—exterminators usually set traps containing poison that, once eaten, kill the creatures immediately which leaves a pungent odor. We also dispose of their feces and any contaminated insulation. Lastly we, sanitizing the framing and studs and replacing the insulation, making it “Like it Never Even Happened.” If you would like help with this type of situation please contact us SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands.

 

Water heater recall: Rheem, American Standard

5/31/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Water heater recall: Rheem, American Standard Recall: Rheem Water Heater, American Standard. If you need assistance cleaning up call us at 508-888-5985

We recently came across this recall from Rheem who issued a recall May 26 on its Rheem Performance Platinum brand of electric water heaters in 40-, 50- and 80-gal. capacities due to fire and burn hazards caused by the overheating of control panels. If you have experienced a fire damage due to your Rheem water heater and need help cleaning up contact SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands.  Water Heating Technologies Corp. issued a recall May 24 on its American Standard brand of gas water heaters in 30-, 40- and 50-gal. capacities due to a fire or explosion hazard caused by a space between the burner flange and the combustion chamber.

Rheem Performance Platinum recall
The Rheem recall is for 54,000 of its Performance Platinum brand of electric water heaters (40-, 50- and 80-gal.) sold exclusively at Home Depot locations nationwide and online from January 2014 through April 2016 for between $450 and $720. The control panel on the water heaters can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards. The firm has received 296 reports of control panels overheating, including one report of a fire which resulted in $5,800 in property damage. No injuries have been reported.  

Consumers should immediately turn off and stop using the recalled water heaters, and contact Rheem to request a free repair by a Rheem field technician. Call toll-free at 866/369-4786 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, or visit www.rheem.com/recalls.

Getting Organized; Cape Cod & Islands

4/14/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning Getting Organized; Cape Cod & Islands This photo shows a job that we did where the bedroom door couldn't open. We were able to help them restore their home back to a safe environment.

There is a reason the DIY shows push storage and organization solutions  during Springtime. It’s because they know that there is no better time than after a long  winter to tackle the task of cleaning or more specifically, getting organized. The start of the new season combined with cold winter days that kept us house bound for months makes it the perfect opportunity to clean out linen and clothes closets as well as other areas of the house that become a catchall for miscellaneous items that no longer have a place in our lives and rediscover areas cluttered with stuff.

Now is the season for cleaning and organizing—for opening the closets and drawers and finally getting rid of some of the things that you no longer use. Before the summer guests start to arrive, head out to a big box store, pick up some storage and organization solutions and start cleaning. Purging is good. It not only creates more space, it can free you from some of the things that may be holding you back.

And if you start a project of cleaning and organizing a room, the basement, attic or garage and find yourself retracting from it or even avoiding it because it just seems like too big of a task to accomplish on your own call our team at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands to help you when you need it most!

Hoarding is a serious issue here in Cape Cod & The Islands

3/21/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning Hoarding is a serious issue here in Cape Cod & The Islands When a room gets buried in stuff sometimes it's better to call SERVPRO of help to clean and organize it up.

Many of us are guilty, embarrassed or even ashamed of keeping things longer than we probably should and collecting items that we really don’t need; for some reason, however, we cannot bring ourselves to toss these things out. Does this behavior make us hoarders? More than likely, the answer to that question is no. Many of us use the word hoarding when we really mean to say we have clutter. It is a good indication, however, that we need some storage and organization solutions, to keep the things we love and get rid of the things that are taking up too much space in our homes and our lives. However, if you can not sleep in your bed, bath in your tub or cook on your cook top in your kitchen because of piles of "stuff" it may be a warning that there may be a more serious issue than clutter.

What is hoarding? Hoarding can be described as either the acquisition of or the failure to discard a large number of possessions. This condition impacts approximately 15 million people in the U.S. Hoarding is not bias and effects people of every age, race and financial demographic in our country.  The main difference between hoarding and squalor is even though a room may be heavily cluttered, there are no signs of infestation, mold, rotting food or human/animal waste. As a restoration company that offers “extreme cleaning services,” I have seen hoarding situations.  My number one concern is to be respectful and protect a person's privacy while working through this experience. By the time we arrive on the scene in these homes, the collection of debris has gotten to a point where it is classified as a health issue. If there are pets living in the home, the situation can be even worse.

My team has cleaned properties that were in squalor condition. The person living there had fallen into a deep depression and not cleaned up after himself or his four dogs for at least nine months. In addition to all of the stuff he had amassed, the dogs had not been walked and there was fecal matter…along with bacteria... throughout the home. We came into the home and removed what needed to be thrown out and cleaned everything else to the level of cleanliness to please a health inspector. This is what I call extreme cleaning and it requires the services of a professional company that has the equipment and trained professionals who are "empathetic but not emotionally connected” to the things that need to be removed and the ability to sanitize what is left that has been neglected for an extended amount of time or even years. If you or someone you know needs help there are services.

Extreme cleaning is something that is far beyond day to day cleaning. It is even beyond the spring and fall cleaning most homeowners do when they pull out the furniture and vacuum under it and pull down window treatments to clean them…and the windows, too! If you or someone you know is in over their head with "stuff" that they have acquired or not thrown away we can help restore a safe and health home again. For more information please visit our website.

Some Cape Cod & Islands Property Owners Left Dealing with Water Damage from Arctic Blast

2/18/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Some Cape Cod & Islands Property Owners Left Dealing with Water Damage from Arctic Blast If you or someone you know is experiencing a water damage from frozen pipes call us for service at 508-888-5985.

The Arctic Blast that came in last weekend is now a distant memory for many. However, for some the effects have just begun. At SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands we've been experiencing a higher volume of calls from both residential and commercial property owners who are now experiencing broken pipes and water damages across Cape Cod & The Islands now that temperatures have returned to above normal across the region.

Here is some information for those  dealing with  water damage on Cape Cod & The Islands

Some other things you should consider when hiring a company to help you recover from storm damage here on Cape Cod & the Islands

  • When contracting  a cleanup and restoration company that can help you restore your property, "Like it never even happened." make sure they have the correct insurance to be doing this type of work.
  • If you need to hire someone to do the reconstruction make sure they hold a General Contractors License and are fully insured with both liability and worker's compensation. Note: Anyone that works on your property should carry their own WC Policy or any accidents that may occur will be covered under the property owners policy.
  • Make sure a building permit is acquired and all inspections are passed before final payment is issued. And remember to report any upgrades or changes to your property to your insurance agent or carrier so they can add it to your policy. Note: Upgrades to kitchens and bathrooms or even flooring should be noted in your policy for future coverage.

Going through a water damage is hard enough but not having the right resources and information to guide your decision making can sometime add unneeded stress to an already stressful situation. At SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands we want to help you recover from a water damage as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Call 508-888-5985 for help 24/7!

Here are some other helpful resources:

A list of local insurance agents and carriers

Six Steps to a Water Damage Clean up & Repair

Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification

Flooding Water Can Turn Into A Mold Problem Fast!

2/16/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flooding Water Can Turn Into A Mold Problem Fast! Flooding storm surges in the streets of Cape Cod & The Islands can turn into a mold problem for properties.

With outside temperatures dipping and storm tides rising, the furthest thing from most property owners’ minds right now is the possibility of mold spores spreading on their walls. But it is not just summer’s humidity that can invite dampness or moisture into a home. Despite winter’s dry air, moisture can find its way into properties through ice dams and other means, creating the perfect environment for mold spores to form and take root.

It’s a good idea to check interior and exterior walls after a storm has passed and the ice begins to melt. I also recommend that property owners do a brief inspection at the end of the winter season. Any dark spots or water stains on the walls can be an indication that water infiltrated the home and it needs to be assessed sooner rather than later. Here’s what happened at a job we recently completed in South Yarmouth.

Our customer called, asking us to clean up what he thought was just a minor water damage in South Yarmouth, MA. But when we got there and looked at the problem, we realized the area of damage must of occured from an ice dam the previous winter and the damage done over the course of a year was significant. Mold spores had already formed and the fungus had established itself. The mold damage affected an interior wall in the kitchen area and the mold spores spread to a point that the entire kitchen had to be replaced.

Not sure if you have a mold problem in your home or business?

Signs and Symptoms that there are mold spores living with you.

  • A stale, musty odor pervading the inside of your home. This odor will cling to fabrics, drapes even carpeting, including linens, window treatments, clothes, sometimes even after they have been washed.
  • There are speckles of black and white appearing on surfaces in your home, such as on the walls.
  • The black marks reappear even after you have cleaned them.
  • Cardboard items in your basement, attic, or garage feel damp.
  • The wooden parts of the structure of your house are soggy and or are rottening.

Mold Inspection versus Mold Testing

At SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands, inspecting for mold is a standard part of what we do. We know the signs to look for and how to identify a problem. Once we detect signs of mold, we search for the cause. After determining the source of the moisture, we begin the process of fixing the problem.

If there are no visible signs of mold spores, but there are some symptoms, allergens for example, the property owner can choose to have their home or business tested for mold. In this case, we recommend that they call in an unbiased, third party to do the testing. This eliminates any doubt or questions about the test results and makes for a good system of checks and balances. At SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands, we sell our services based on information and not scare tactics. If you need more information please contact us.

Dirty Air Ducts on Cape Cod & Islands: May Cause Health Problems

2/15/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning Dirty Air Ducts on Cape Cod & Islands: May Cause Health Problems Does your air duct system filter look like this one? If it is clogged up with dust and debris like this one you may want to get your system cleaned pr

Health Risks Associated with Dirty Ducts

The risks of having dirty air ducts may be more severe than you might know. Have your allergies been getting the best of you lately and you’re not sure why? Can’t get rid of that nagging cough or cold? When it comes to cleaning, there are a few areas of your home that may get overlooked and one of those areas might be the HVAC system. As a restoration company, we offer air duct cleaning services.

Some Health Effects of Particle Pollution

  • Asthma and chronic bronchitis
  • Acute respiratory symptoms, such as coughing and chest tightness
  • Decreased lung function, experienced as shortness of breath
  • Heart attacks
  • Premature death in people with heart or lung disease

Exposure to particle pollution can affect both your lungs and your heart. Health research suggests that short-term exposure to coarse particles can lead to coughing, minor throat irritation and reduced lung function, while long-term exposure may increase the rate of respiratory and cardiovascular illness. Many of these conditions contribute to work and school absences, emergency room visits, and hospital admissions. Any unexplained allergy-related illnesses could be a sign that your HVAC system needs to be cleaned.

Who is Most at Risk

  • Children, because their lungs are still developing
  • Elderly, particularly those with or prone to cardiovascular disease
  • People with asthma or other respiratory ailments
  • Healthy adults who exert themselves during periods of elevated fine particle concentrations also may be affected because they tend to breathe more while working or exercising.

You can learn more on EPA’s website.

If you are concerned about the health and wellbeing of someone you love, please feel free to contact us for a quote. We are here to help!

Dirty Air Ducts Cost You Money on Cape Cod & The Islands

2/15/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning Dirty Air Ducts Cost You Money on Cape Cod & The Islands Photo of a air duct before and after cleaning. Notice how much dirt and debris is covering the surface of the duct before just one cleaning.

Like your dryer and furnace your air duct system can cost you more money if it is running inefficiently and that simply translates into you spending more money to heat or cool your home or business. Do you often find yourself wondering, how often should I get my air ducts cleaned? Or is it necessary to clean air ducts? Then you have come to the right place for answers. When it comes to the chores of spring and fall cleaning, we all know that we have to wash the windows, move the furniture, and clean the window treatments. Cleaning the HVAC system doesn’t even make the list because it’s not something we see or notice on a regular basis. A dirty heating and cooling system not only spews tiny particles of dirt, dust, and debris which can cause health issues it can cause clogging of vents which may shorten the life span of your furnace and electronical devices. Hiring a Cleaning & Restoration Company can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.

What Makes Air Ducts Dirty?

Beyond the day to day pollutants such as dust and debris there is the question of do you have pets? Chances are their fur is not only collecting under the furniture and in corners, it can be collecting in air ducts as well. Speaking of animals, if there is any evidence that wildlife such as squirrels, chipmunks or mice are nesting in your heating and cooling system, immediately call a pest control company to eliminate the animals. Then a Cleanup Company can come in to remove the deceased animals, their excrement and any affected insulation followed by sanitizing the system. We recently responded to a job for a customer whose tenant was complaining of a strong odor throughout the home. Once we inspected the system we discovered not only to our surprise but to our customer too that over 60 mice had been living within the system and wall cavities of the home for some time. We were hired to cleanup up the deceased mice and their excrement. They were so relieved to finally have a solution to their hidden odor problem while saving their relationship with a good tenant.

If you have a furnace malfunction you can be affected by, in industry terms, a Puff Back. During a puff back event, oil based soot usually covers all areas of the property including drapes, bedding, furniture, clothing, cabinets, ceilings, walls and floors and is extremely difficult to remove. Most times, you will know that you’ve had a furnace puff back! But there are times when it is harder to detect since the soot coverage can range from a light dusting to a concentrated dark appearance especially on horizontal surfaces like countertops. While you may be tempted to clean the affected area, the "dust" will “re-appear” hours later. You can read more about Puff Backs and how to deal with them in a blog posting from earlier this year.

If you are planning to have work done that would include cutting wood such as carpentry it helps to seal off the ductwork during the renovations, but if they weren’t, dust could have collected in the ducts. If you recently remodeled or renovated a room in your home or business and this task wasn’t done the ductwork may need to be cleaned. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.

The Arctic Blast Will Effect Cape Cod & The Islands

2/12/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Arctic Blast Will Effect Cape Cod & The Islands The arctic blast storm will be upon us this weekend. Preparing for it will help prevent water damages from happening on Cape Cod and the Islands

Local meteorologists are forecasting an arctic blast heading towards Cape Cod & The Islands this weekend! With severe wind chill warnings of temperatures that can dip as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit, this artic blast can cause frostbite to unexposed skin and water damage from frozen pipes. 

Also for many, this weekend marks the start of school vacation for many students in Massachusetts. Families with dreams of laying on sandy beaches may have their bags packed, heading for warmer climates or, in some cases, to hit the slopes. Before leaving your home this weekend make sure that you take these precautions to prevent your pipes from freezing. No one wants to return home from a dream vacation to find a nightmare of a water damage.  

How to keep your pipes from freezing:

 ·      Keep the thermostat turned up.

·      Allow water to trickle from a faucet. This will keep the    water flowing through the pipes, which helps to prevent freezing.

·      Open cabinet doors ajar in the kitchen and bathroom, which allows warm air to flow into these areas which tend to contain water and plumbing pipes. This is especially important if the pipes are located on an exterior wall.

·      Shut off the water main to the house.

·      Shut off the water to the washing machine

·      Avoid starting the dishwasher before leaving the house. If the hose gives away, which can happen any time, it will cause significant amounts of water to flow into the home.

·      Turn off the water to any outdoor faucets, including the outdoor shower. 

 However, if it does happen, know that with one call to SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands, we can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Other precautions to consider to keep your home safe during an artic blast. If possible, have a friend or neighbor check on the home while you are away. If you have pets or animals, do not leave them alone. These four legged family members have been known to cause significant water damage to homes.  

We once received a call from a homeowner whose cat flooded the house.  Apparently, the homeowner had gone away on vacation but had made arrangements for a relative to come in once a week to check on the cat.  The owners decided to leave the bathroom faucet on just enough for it to trickle so the cat could access water any time it wanted between the weekly visits. One day, while drinking from the faucet, the cat happened to step on the stopper in the sink, its paw pushing it down so that the sink began to fill with water. A trickling faucet can rack up significant gallons of water over the course of a week. About six days later when the caretaker opened the front door to check on kitty, she found water pouring down the stairs.

 If it does snow, have the snow from the roof removed to prevent an ice dam.

If you are using a space heater in any of the rooms in your home, keep it clear of any fabrics or furniture and never leave it unattended.

If you use an electric heating blanket, do not fall asleep with the blanket turned on and do not leave it turned on unattended.

The sun really is a wonderful and natural warming agent, even in the winter. Try to open blinds and drapes during the day so that the sun can warm up the home and close them at night to keep the cold temperatures out.

Looking on the positive side of this upcoming artic blast …. the coldest day of this weekend is going to be Sunday, February 14th….a perfect day for snuggling up with the one you love to stay warm. The better news is that these artic temperatures are not expected to last long and by Tuesday, it will be a balmy 40 degrees…practically bathing suit weather here in Massachusetts.  But for the next three days, I hope you stay warm and make sure that you have taken precautions to keep your pipes from freezing. If you or anyone you know needs help with a property damage, please contact us.

The Blizzard reminds Cape & Islanders of the dangers of carbon monoxide

2/10/2016 (Permalink)

General The Blizzard reminds Cape & Islanders of the dangers of carbon monoxide Please remember to clean a path to the property's exterior exhaust pipes.

Cape Cod, MA — The blizzard has created some health hazards that residents might not even be aware of: the need to dig out vents along the sides of home to prevent carbon monoxide buildups indoors is a critical task to do. Each year, carbon monoxide poisoning claims more than hundreds of lives and sends over 15,000 people to hospital emergency rooms across the country for treatment; many of the fatalities could have been avoided with the simple installation of a carbon monoxide alarm. When the temperatures drop, it is only natural to reach for the thermostat to turn up the heat or  build a fire in the fireplace or wood stove to warm up the home. However, it is important to remember there are several everyday items that can put you and your family at risk, including gas-fired appliances and wood-burning fireplaces.

The high snow drifts block furnace vents and air intakes to some homes, predominantly those with newer high-efficiency furnaces. Those furnaces vent out the side of a home rather than up through the roof. Residents must clear snow from these vents and air intakes. If they are blocked, dangerous carbon monoxide will back into the home.

Some newer high efficiency furnaces have automatic shut-off’s that shut down the furnace when the vents are blocked. Keep a three-foot area clear around the vent and intake tubes outside to be safe.

Heating and dryer vents should also be cleared of snow to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. We also want to remind residents to never run a generator or gas grill in the home, garage or other enclosed spaces. If your CO alarm sounds, immediately evacuate and call 9-1-1.

Onset Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Headache
  • dizziness
  • Nausea

More severe symptoms with prolonged exposure of carbon monoxide poisoning

  • confusion and drowsiness
  • fast breathing, fast heart rate, or chest pain
  • vision problems
  • seizures

If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of monoxide poisoning, experts say to evacuate immediately and contact emergency personnel. Even with doors open, refrain from running your vehicle for extended periods of time, as garages with a door on only one side often do not provide adequate air flow.

Since monoxide alarms measure CO levels over time, the alarm will sound before an average, healthy adult would experience any symptoms. If you are not experiencing symptoms when the alarm sounds, please consider ventilating the home and contacting a service professional to check the CO level. The local fire department will send a team to check the home if you call to report the alarm sounding.

Mold 101: Everything you always wanted to know about the fungus but were afraid to ask

2/2/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold 101:  Everything you always wanted to know about the fungus but were afraid to ask You may have seen news reports that warn about the dangers of “black mold” or “toxic mold”. These reports can be alarming so learn the facts.

What it is and How it grows

Mold…it’s everywhere. It’s present inside and outside and while you will never completely eradicate mold spores from your life, there are situations when it can do significant damage. From compromising the integrity of your structure, (yes, it can do serious damage to sheetrock and other porous materials) to causing health issues, mold in the home is nothing to sneeze at. The first question that comes to most people’s minds is how does mold suddenly appear in a home. The answer is rather simple: it doesn’t suddenly appear… with the proper environment,which is water, and a food source, which come in many forms such as simple everyday items like sheetrock, wood molding, paint, cardboard and even leather mold spores grow over a period of time.

Mold is more than just unsightly…there is an odor to it and exposure to high levels of household mold can cause health effects. Though you might be tempted to spray bleach on the affected areas, I wouldn’t recommend doing so, since that can actually increase the damage. Even if you are successful at covering up the unsightly stain, the mold spores spread and continue to grow and travel.

Fact:The Ugly Truth About Mold and How It Can Hurt Your Family and Your Walls.

Feeding Grounds

Mold feeds on moisture. You are most likely to find it in areas like the bathroom, where hot, steamy showers create the perfect environment for the fungus to settle in and grow. That’s why it is important to properly ventilate the bathroom and to install a good exhaust fan.

But moisture can and does appear in other areas of the home as well. The kitchen is also a popular spot for the mold spores to show up. When you boil a pan of water, that steam has to go somewhere, right? Look at the ceiling above the stove and over the sink. Chances are you are going to see a few dark spots there. The stove’s exhaust fan isn’t just for airing out the kitchen when you’ve burnt something beyond recognition. Using the fan will help keep the area dry when you are cooking.

We also find moisture in basements and attics. The key to combating the issue in these areas is to use a good dehumidifier. Homes with central air conditioning systems have the best chance of maintaining a dry environment, even on the most humid days here on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.

But it’s not just summer’s humidity that can invite dampness or moisture into a home. Despite winter’s dry air, moisture can find its way into homes through ice dams and other means, creating the perfect environment for mold spores to form and take root. It’s a good idea to check interior and exterior walls at the end of the winter season. Any dark spots or water stains can be an indication that water infiltrated the home and it needs to be assessed.

Signs and Symptoms

  • A stale, musty odor pervading the inside of your home or business. This odor will cling to fabrics, drapes even carpeting, including linens, window treatments, clothes, sometimes even after they have been washed.
  • There are speckles of black and white appearing on surfaces in your home, such as on the walls.
  • The black marks reappear even after you have cleaned them.
  • Cardboard items in your basement, attic, or garage feel damp.
  • The wooden parts of the structure of your house are soggy and or are rottening. 

Mold Inspection versus Mold Testing

At SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands, inspecting for mold is a standard part of what we do. We know the signs to look for and how to identify a problem. Once we detect signs of mold, we search for the cause. After determining the source of the moisture, we begin the process of fixing the problem.

If there are no visible signs of mold, but there are some symptoms, allergens for example, the homeowner can choose to have their house tested for mold. In this case, we recommend that they call in an unbiased, third party to do the testing. This eliminates any doubt or questions about the test results and makes for a good system of checks and balances. At SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands, we sell our services based on information and not scare tactics.

The Clean Up Process

Mold remediation begins with an assessment of the damage, followed by containing the damage, limiting air movement in the space and a thorough cleaning. The last step in the process is restoration, which can involve any thing from minor repairs to major reconstruction to make it like it never even happened.

At SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands, we use various containment procedures to prevent mold spore spreading and we have specialized filtration equipment that allows our professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and types of surfaces on which the fungus appears. We use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. We also clean any furniture, decorative items, curtains and other restorable items affected by the mold. Depending on the level of the mold damage, we also provide reconstruction services, from minor repairs to major projects. Any further details on the process we employ or the products we use to properly clean a mold damage are a trade secret, kept locked in a vault along with the recipe for KFC’s fried chicken and McDonald’s special sauce.

For the record, however, I will say this: the first step in any mold remediation project is to identify the source or cause of the moisture. In some cases, this is easy and in others, it can require a bit of detective work. Believe it or not, sometimes a flood in the house can potentially cause less water damage than an ice dam. When you come home and find two inches of water in your basement because of a burst pipe or failed water heater, you immediately jump into action to get the water damage repaired. However, when you don't see actual water damage from a slow leak from behind a wall it can be a greater problem found as the inspection turns into demo that discovers both the root of the water damage and growing mold colonies.

 Fact: Penicillium is a common mold that is found in dust, has a greenish color and a powdery texture. It is characterized by its heavy and musty odor.

Truth can be stranger than fiction

We once received a call from a homeowner whose cat flooded the house. The homeowner had gone away on vacation but had made arrangements for a relative to come in once a week to check on the cat. The owners decided to leave the bathroom faucet turned on just enough for it to trickle a bit of water so the cat could get a drink any time it wanted between the weekly visits. One day, while drinking from the faucet, the cat happened to step on the stopper in the sink, its paw pushing it down so that the sink began to fill with water. A trickling faucet can rack up significant gallons of water over the course of a week. Six days later when the caretaker opened the front door to check on kitty, she found water pouring down the stairs. It wasn’t enough just to dry out the home, we had to ensure that anything that was irreparably damaged, was removed and replaced to eliminate the possibility of any mold issues arising from this feline flooding incident. In this particular case, the cause of the water problem was rather evident and easy to spot.

On another job…this one on Nantucket…the source of the water damage was also fairly obvious. A family had arrived at the house they were renting for their summer vacation, ready and eager to get started on all the fun. One of the children noticed the oversized Jacuzzi in the master bedroom and decided he wanted to take a bath in the luxurious tub. He turned on the water but before he could turn it off, his parents announced that the family was headed to the beach for the day. Filled with excitement and anticipation about going to the shore, the young boy completely forgot about his plans to take a bath and the running water. After a full day at the beach, the family arrived home only to be surprised by the wave of water flowing down the stairs to greet them as they opened the front door.

Pipe breaks, toilets overflowing—those are easy sources of water problems to detect. On other jobs, however, the source of the water damage was not quite so evident. Last year’s series of never-ending snowstorms caused the formation of ice dams and these dams often caused water to back up into homes and buildings…in some cases the owners either didn't notice any signs of water damage or didn't think the water that had seeped in was that bad. When an ice dam causes water to back up into your home, it does so very quietly and discretely…behind a wall, where you can’t see it. By the time it makes its presence known, in the form of peeling paint, soaked carpets, buckled floors, or moldy black marks on the wall under a window or an interior wall, the damage is extensive. But since it is not interfering with your daily living, you shrug and promise to take care of it…one of these days. The danger with this type of damage is that most people…myself included…underestimate the severity of the problem. And the longer you wait to fix it, the more damage it does, eventually compromising the integrity of the structure.

We recently received a call from a customer asking us to clean up what he thought was just a minor and benign water stain issue on his wall in his South Yarmouth home. But when we got there and looked at the problem, we realized the moisture spot was from an ice dam that had occurred the previous winter and the damage done over the course of a year was significant. Mold spores had already formed and the fungus had established itself. The mold damage affected an interior wall in the kitchen and the mold spores spread to a point that the entire kitchen had to be replaced.

In each of these cases, SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands not only cleaned up the damages and did any necessary reconstruction work, we also helped out customers navigate the complexities of the insurance industry.

What to do if you suspect you have a mold problem

  • Do not touch or disturb the mold
  • Do not blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth
  • Do not spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold
  • Stay out of affected areas if you have a compromised immune system or allergies as this will heighten these conditions or may create a reaction.

What to consider when choosing a company to remove mold from your home

Choosing a reputable company to treat a mold issue is as important as using the right process to eradicate the mold spores. Look for a company that is experienced and trained in mold remediation. Is the company certified and do they require their employees to receive on-going training to stay on top of the most updated techniques for mold remediation?

At SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands, our professionals are trained and certified and are equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

  • It’s important that the company have insurance and not just worker’s compensation. Any reputable company will hold pollution insurance, since mold can be an environmental issue. Can the company do more than just treat your mold problem? Do they have the resources and licensures to do the necessary reconstruction work or will you have to hire a separate contractor for the part of the project?
  • Mold and water damage are often covered under homeowner’s insurance policies. Is the company willing to help you navigate the complexities of the insurance industry?
  • Finally, don’t let price drive your decision. The cheapest isn't always the best choice and neither is the most expensive.

We know that there are choices in restoration companies, that’s why we, at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands, believe that delivering a full complement of services, from the initial assessment of mold spores to the final reconstruction services and everything in between, along with outstanding customer service should be a standard part of every project, no matter the size.

Reconstruction Team Saves North Falmouth Customer's Holiday

1/29/2016 (Permalink)

Building Services Reconstruction Team Saves North Falmouth Customer's Holiday Newly reconstructed laundry room after suffering water damage in North Falmouth.

A North Falmouth customer can attest to the fact that there never really is a good time for a water damage that requires reconstruction services. But some times are worse than others….and let’s face it….just before the holidays tops the list as the worst time EVER for a disaster to happen.

But that was the case for one of our customers whose washing machine hose blew out, spewing water all over her finished basement. If you are the mother of young children, there are some things that you almost can’t live without: one of those things is a washer and the other is a playroom/family room in the basement.In an instant, this mother lost both of those necessities, just before Thanksgiving.

Folks, there is a reason why nobody chooses to do construction projects between Thanksgiving and Christmas…it is because there is absolutely no time to deal with construction crews, color choices, scheduling subcontractors and the inconvenience of having  workers in your home when you are supposed to be buying, baking, wrapping, mailing, and decorating.

Initially, our customer thought her holiday season was going to be completely doomed—filled with chaos and construction nightmares, rather than with cheer and good will. Fortunately for her, she called SERVPRO of Upper Cod and the Islands and we were able to handle everything—from the initial calls to the insurance company to the applying the last coat of paint on the walls—freeing her up to buy, bake, wrap, mail, decorate, and focus on the traditions that her family cherishes.

Because we are licensed contractors and can offer building services, which includes the entire reconstruction portion of the project, our customers do not have to be bothered with finding a reputable builder who can come in a timely manner to handle this part of the job.

Our team was able to dry out the basement and reconstruct the entire family room and replace the washer and dryer, all in a timely manner before Christmas—and all of our customer’s guests—arrived. We handled everything, including scheduling the subcontractors, so that our customer could focus solely on her holiday, making this loss “like it never even happened.”

Are Mold Spores Resistant to Bleach in Nantucket Home?

1/26/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Are Mold Spores Resistant to Bleach in Nantucket Home? Black mold spores on the baseboard in this bathroom on Nantucket, MA. Will using bleach kill this mold? The answer may surprise you.

Recently we received a call from a caretaker on Nantucket because they noticed some mold growing on the baseboard in one of the bathrooms and they wanted to know if bleach would kill the mold spores. Unfortunately, I had to give him the bad news that bleach will not kill mold spores.

Then I followed by explaining  that the idea that bleach kills mold spores is one of those myths that has made its way into the do-it-yourself community, leading homeowners and property managers to believe that they can actually kill a mold problem by spraying a bleach solution onto a wall and then wiping it clean. But while the area appears to be clean and rid of the black fungus on the surface, this particular method actually makes the situation worse.

When mold and bleach interact, the mold spores react as if they are being attacked. Spraying the fungus down with bleach causes the mold to shoot off spores to protect itself. So as you are wiping the surface, you are actually spreading the mold spores further out.  If the cloth is used in other areas of the home, it can spread the mold to areas that were unaffected (otherwise knows as cross contamination).

Mold thrives on moisture, and since the primary component of bleach is water, the solution actually feeds the fungus rather than kills it. Another reason bleach is no match for mold is because its chemicals, which include chlorine, do not penetrate through the porous areas of the sheetrock or wood where the deep roots of the mold spores are located.

Still another reason not to use bleach to combat a mold problem is because the solution is highly acidic, which can threaten the integrity of porous materials. The acidity levels in bleach wreak havoc on the fibers that compose most home building materials such as drywall and baseboard. And not only will the bleach compromise the integrity of the material, it will spread the mold spores to otherwise unaffected areas. Because this damage is occurring beneath the surface, it goes unseen and unnoticed.

While bleach can erase the unsightly black marks of mold spores on the surface, the fungus is still present in the wall. Mold has deep roots and can permeate to the outer areas of the wall, as it seeks out moisture and a food source. Since bleach can only clean up the ugly surface marks and not completely kill the roots, it is not a recommended solution for mold remediation.

SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands never uses bleach on any of its mold remediation projects. Our professionally trained crews understand the problems that can arise out of using bleach on  mold spores. With years of experience responding to property owners with mold in their homes or businesses, handling mold projects throughout Massachusetts, our staff can properly and completely clean up any mold situation with the right products and equipment.  As a certified mold remediation company, SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands requires our staff to be trained and able to explain the different types of methods that can be used to clean up mold for our customers. We never sell our services based on fear but rather on information. If you need any help with eradicating a mold issues please feel free to contact us for an estimate.

Building Services Division Benefits Many

1/24/2016 (Permalink)

Building Services Building Services Division Benefits Many Our reconstruction team transformed an old organ and built in speaker in this Cape Cod living room into this undated wet bar and shadow box.

As the owner of an emergency services company that offers reconstruction services, I am constantly witnessing situations that started out as very bad for our clients but in the end turned out to be a blessing and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that from great challenges come great opportunities.

I knew that adding building services to our list of amenities at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands would allow us to fully serve our customers, but I was a bit surprised by the number of requests we have received to do other work on our customers’ homes. Typically, these requests usually arise out of a conversation that the homeowner has with our home reconstruction team. There have been times when the homeowner has seen the great work our team does and asks them to make changes to other areas of the house and times when our team offered suggestions for changes that improved the flow of the house and thus the quality of our customer’s life.

Reconstruction Team: "Yup, we can do that."

I was recently thinking about a client in North Falmouth who had a water damage in her kitchen. As is typical with this type of damage, once the water is removed and the space dried out, any affected materials, such as cabinets, flooring and other items, are removed and reconstruction begins. As we began the process of “rebuilding” our customer’s kitchen, she asked if we could move the sink to a new location. It’s original placement didn’t conform to the ideal “triangle” layout that kitchen designers recommend and the homeowner had always found it’s location inconvenient when cooking, doing prep work, and cleaning up. We moved the sink, which made a better layout in the kitchen and a very happy customer.

Building Services Team With An Eye for Design

I also love thinking about how our reconstruction team made it possible for an organ, (the musical instrument not the body part) to be donated to a local church. The team was doing construction work after a damage to a home when the project manager happened to notice an organ in the family room. He commented on it and our homeowner wasted no time expressing her dissatisfaction with the instrument, its location, and the wall which was custom designed to house it  as well as the oversized speaker above. Our project manager suggested moving the organ out and changing the wall into a wet bar and doing some finish work to the area above. The customer was delighted with the wall and even happier to move the organ, which she donated to a church, out of her home.

The decision to add building services to our offerings was made so that we could fully serve our customers; I had no idea how much pride and satisfaction I would get from being able to offer this service.

Reconstruction Services An Important Step in Addressing Frozen Pipe Damage

1/24/2016 (Permalink)

Building Services Reconstruction Services An Important Step in Addressing Frozen Pipe Damage Frozen pipes break and flood homes and businesses everyday. Are you ready? Ask us about creating an Emergency Ready Profile for your property today.

This week’s frigid temperatures remind us that winter is here and invariably with such severe cold and blustery winds often comes frozen pipes, which lead to water damage, which then require reconstruction services.

As a full-service emergency services and reconstruction company, we not only clean up after a water damage, we do the construction work, a part of our building services division, to truly make the damage like it never even happened.

The surprising thing about burst pipes is the cause. Most people believe that the only time pipes “burst” and spew water from them is when they have frozen, but that is not always the case.

Yes, there is an increase in the number of pipes bursting due to freezing temperatures during the winter. And yes, more often than not, frozen pipes occur when the power goes out or the heat has been turned off and a cold snap freezes the water in the pipe. And we all remember from our elementary school science class that when water freezes it expands. And when ice inside a pipe expands, it creates a crack and once the ice thaws, the water traveling through the pipes at a very high pressure, forces its way out of that crack and into our homes or businesses.

But there are a number of reasons why pipes freeze or crack. When plumbing pipes run on an exterior wall or in a section of a house that jogs out a bit, called a cantilever, these pipes are more exposed to the freezing temperatures and harsh winter winds making them more susceptible to freezing, even though the heat in the home is running properly.

Sometimes a pipe will leak due to good old-fashioned corrosion. This usually happens in areas where the water is highly acidic and corrodes the pipe with tiny little pinholes. When you consider that the pressure of the water running through the pipe is extremely high, the amount of water that comes out of those tiny pinholes is significant, causing significant damage. And that is why it is important to hire an emergency services company that has a building services division.

The damage that water causes can be significant, requiring more than just cleaning up the spill and drying out the space. Often cabinets are damaged as well as other parts of the room, including the flooring. This is when it’s important to hire a restoration company that not only specializes in the clean-up but can do all of the reconstruction services. Once a homeowner experiences a disaster like a flood in their home, the last thing they want to do is deal with the complexities of the insurance industry or call various subcontractors to put their home back the way it was before the damage occurred.

At SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands, we understand the stress that our clients are dealing with when a disaster strikes their home or business and that’s why we go the extra mile to handle all aspects of a damage, from calling the insurance company to cleaning up the damage to complete reconstruction services.

SERVPRO's Home Reconstruction Team Improves a Sandwich, MA Homeowner's Kitchen

1/5/2016 (Permalink)

Building Services SERVPRO's Home Reconstruction Team Improves a Sandwich, MA Homeowner's Kitchen New flooring installed by SERVPRO's Building Services Team in a Sandwich, MA customer's kitchen after it suffers a water damage.

Initially, any kind of disaster or damage to a property can strike fear into heart of a homeowner,  but more often than not, once the home reconstruction is completed, homeowners often find that their temporary disaster is a blessing in disguise.

That was the case for a friend of mine from Sandwich who recently experienced a water damage in her kitchen. When she called to tell me that water was infiltrating her home, I immediately put on my “owner-of-a-restoration-company” hat, and went into action. As a full-service restoration company, we offer everything from the initial dry out to the building services, which includes home reconstruction.

My friend's panic was understandable. She was newly widowed and completely unfamiliar with handling any kind of maintenance issues around the house; she knew even less about her homeowner's insurance coverage. With water seeping into her kitchen from the doorway every time it rained, she knew something had to be done, she just didn’t know what that was or where to start.

From quality customer service to complete home reconstruction services

Since the water coming into her home was due to faulty construction, I knew that this was most likely an issue that would be covered under her insurance policy. She didn’t know the name of her insurance company but she did know who her agent was. I took down the name of the agency and that was the last call that my friend had to make regarding this issue. I took it from there and helped my customer from the very initial call to the insurance company right up to completing the home reconstruction services.  

After contacting her agent, our project manager met with the insurance adjuster to ensure that all of the damage was addressed and that everyone was on the same page with respect to what needed to be done in terms of construction. It is not unusual for our project manager to meet with the adjuster and to advocate for our customer.

As a full service restoration company which includes building services, we not only dry out a water damage and remove damaged materials…we do all of the reconstruction and act as the general contractor, including bringing in any subcontractors.This allows us to oversee the entire process and eliminates the need for our customers to call in other people, hoping that their schedules align with the project schedule. It eliminates confusion and allows the project to adhere to a reconstruction timeline.

Home reconstruction services make it better than ever

The goal with any of our jobs is to make our customer whole again and to return their property to pre-damage condition, making it “Like it never even happened.” In some cases, however, we have not only restored the home or business, we have improved it.

In this particular case, we dryed out the structure and rebuilt the side of the house to code. Because water had seeped in, getting under the tiled kitchen floor, we had to replace that. Our customer chose a beautiful wood floor—a very nice upgrade from her previous floor and a nice improvement to her kitchen.

Dealing with a water, smoke, or even fire damage can be stressful and that is why we at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands takes pride in delivering complete and quality services, including home reconstruction services to every one of our customers.

A Safety Message from SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands

12/31/2015 (Permalink)

Community A Safety Message from SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands Chimney Fires caused by Christmas trees are rare, but the NFPA recommends to avoid the possibility of a very intense and dangerous fire.

We want to wish everyone a healthy and prosperous New Year and remind folks to  dispose of their Christmas trees  by taking them to a recycling location or make sure they get picked up by the appropriate service.

And please refrain from trying to burn your tree in a fireplace or wood stove-especially dry ones!  Each year chimney fires occur when Christmas trees are burned in fireplaces or wood stoves. Live Christmas trees are usually very dry by the time they are taken down, and burning a tree in a fireplace or wood stove can cause a dangerous chimney fire, which can lead to a house fire. According to The National Fire Protection Association, while chimney fires caused by Christmas trees are rare, they should be avoided because of the possibility of a very intense and dangerous fire. 

SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands is here to help 24/7 if you have a situation that needs cleanup or call us at 508-888-5985.

A Safety Message from SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands

12/31/2015 (Permalink)

Community A Safety Message from SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands Chimney Fires caused by Christmas trees are rare, but the NFPA recommends to avoid the possibility of a very intense and dangerous fire.

We want to wish everyone a healthy and prosperous New Year and remind folks to  dispose of their Christmas trees  by taking them to a recycling location or make sure they get picked up by the appropriate service.

And please refrain from trying to burn your tree in a fireplace or wood stove-especially dry ones!  Each year chimney fires occur when Christmas trees are burned in fireplaces or wood stoves. Live Christmas trees are usually very dry by the time they are taken down, and burning a tree in a fireplace or wood stove can cause a dangerous chimney fire, which can lead to a house fire. According to The National Fire Protection Association, while chimney fires caused by Christmas trees are rare, they should be avoided because of the possibility of a very intense and dangerous fire. 

SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands is here to help 24/7 if you have a situation that needs cleanup or call us at 508-888-5985.

SERVPRO's Reconstruction Services Team Offers Solutions to Cape Codders

12/30/2015 (Permalink)

Building Services SERVPRO's Reconstruction Services Team Offers Solutions to Cape Codders SERVPRO's Building Services Team builds a better ceiling for this Pocasset, MA Homeowner.

We are all familiar with that saying when life hands you lemons make lemonades and when our reconstrution services team moves in to do reconstruction after a damage, it is not unusual for homeowners or business owners to seize the opportunity to make some other improvements.

Reconstruction services allows us to help find solutions

Not long ago, our team was working on an emergency services and reconstruction project that involved a water damage from a broken pipe. The homeowner was a hair stylist who worked out of her home. She had this business set up in her home for years but there was a glitch—without fail customers always came to her front door rather than the side door, closest to the business.

It was an inconvenience to have customers walking through her kitchen to get to her studio, but without a solution to the problem, it was one of those things that she learned to put up with over the years.

While my crew was there, the project manager on our reconstruction services team happened to notice how often she had to redirect people to the other door or have them detour around the kitchen to get to the studio. He couldn’t help but offer up another alternative. He suggested to her that she build a second wall between the kitchen and the side door to create a path and offer privacy between her home and her business.

Our building services team found a simple solution to a problem that had plagued our customer for years. So while my team was there—making repairs and reconstructing the kitchen after the water damage had been resolved, our customer decided to hire us to do a little extra work for her.

It proved to be both a time and cost effective move. Since we were already there on the scene with our tools and equipment, building the wall took very little time, thus costing her less money.

It was one of those ideal situations where we were called in to clean up a water damage and complete the reconstruction services to make it like it never even happened and as a bonus we were able to to resolve an issue that had been a nuisance for far too many years.

Building Services A Critical Part of Making Damage Like It Never Even Happened in Cataumet Home

12/30/2015 (Permalink)

Building Services Building Services A Critical Part of Making Damage Like It Never Even Happened in Cataumet Home After photo of a kitchen in Cataumet, MA reconstructed after suffering fire damage.

Timing is everything they say, and last year, the timing couldn’t have been better to add building services, which includes reconstruction services, to the repertoire of offerings at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands.

Reconstruction services and integral part of a full service company

The decision to add this service came after seeing a need among our customers. After years of owning an emergency services company, we saw time after time that a significant part of the work that needs to be done on any disaster related job is reconstruction services. Typically, most restoration companies that respond to a fire, water, or other type of damage, will come in, remove what needs to be removed, dry out the area if necessary, and then pack up…leaving the customer with something that still needs to be put back together. That is not the way to “make it like it never even happened.”

What we discovered over these past years is that very few homeowners have a contractor that they know and trust who can complete the reconstruction services to bring their property back to its previous condition. And the operative word here, is trust. That is a critical piece to restoring a customer’s home or business to pre-damage condition.

So my husband Bill decided to get his contractors license so that we could offer a complete range ofbuilding services….from removing the walls to putting them back...soup to nuts, as they say... allowing us to make a customer whole again. And last year couldn’t have been a better year to expand our offerings to including these reconstruction services.

With so many business owners and homeowners experiencing water damages from last winter’s endless storms, contractors were extremely busy and very scarce, making 2015 the ideal year to add building services or reconstruction to our offerings.

Emergency Services not complete without Building Services

A contractor's license allows us to come onto a job, remove the debris that needs to be removed, bring in equipment to clean up the area and then replace or reconstruct what needs to be done, truly making it like it never even happened. And all of this work is done with the quality and integrity that people have come to expect from SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands.

Let’s face it…a home is potentially the largest asset most people own. It is important to keep it in good and pristine condition and to maintain it. If there is a damage, you want to call on a company that offers reconstruction services so that the home can be fully repaired and restored to its pre-loss condition—and in some cases, even better condition.

Sewage Backup in Nantucket Home Causes Grief to One Family

12/30/2015 (Permalink)

Biohazard Sewage Backup in Nantucket Home Causes Grief to One Family Sewage backup in a crawlspace can lead to strong odors and health issues for those who live in the home.

In our line of work, we realize our customers face emergencies like water damages or biohazards that take them by surprise. When they choose us to solve those problems for them, we are gratified in so many ways.

We received a call in August from a property manager on Nantucket who knew of a family who had discovered septic waste had backed up under their house and into a crawlspace. The heat of the summer intensified the odor from the black water, which was seeping into their living space.

To make the circumstances more of a challenge, some of the backup was under the bedroom of their disabled child. They feared for the health and well-being of their son and the prospect of packing up the items needed for his care and relocating everyone in the family, pushed this situation into a crisis. They needed help urgently, and having never encountered this type of problem, they turned to their friend who was a local property manager for advice.

We often receive calls from property managers when they are faced with emergencies at the properties they are trusted to protect. This property manager had worked with us on previous occasions, was happy with the service that SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands provided to his clients (our customers) and even though the family was not his customer, he offered to help.

The property manager called our office and explained the problem, putting us in contact with our customer. We dispatched our crew who visited the job site that afternoon and, upon arrival, discovered some areas in the crawlspace had a clearance height of just 12 inches. Our Crew Chief suited up in protective gear and crawled into the mire to assess the degree of the biohazard. It was clear that it  would not only require a couple of days to extract the large amount of sewage, clean-up, disinfect and dry out, but that we would need special equipment to clean up the tight areas.

We keep our warehouses on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard fully stocked with equipment, chemicals and supplies, so we are ready to tackle jobs quickly. To the relief of our customers, we were able to clean-up of this sewage back-up  quickly. Their son did not have to be relocated and life could go back to normal...making this biohazard like it never even happened.

Community Parades in Falmouth and Mashpee Create Lasting Memories

12/13/2015 (Permalink)

Community Community Parades in Falmouth and Mashpee Create Lasting Memories Our SERVPRO truck tows the float sponsored by the Cape Cod Children's Museum and Cape Cod Moms in Falmouth's Annual Christmas parade

The holidays are one of my favorite times of year and now that we have a granddaughter, they are even more wonderful. This year is particularly magical because I am getting to experience the magic of the holidays through the eyes of my two year-old, granddaughter, Mackenzie.

Last week, we were especially lucky because we got to be a part of one of the biggest Christmas parades in southern New England—the Falmouth Christmas Parade.

I was so excited when I heard that the Cape Cod Children’s Museum had gotten together with Cape Cod Moms to enter a float in this parade. The design for the float used each organization’s trademarks—two whales sporting jingle bell antlers on their head represented Cape Cod Moms while the signature starfish of the Cape Cod Children’s Museum adorned the rest of the float. Five beautiful Christmas trees, courtesy of the Falmouth Rotary Club and purchased from Mahoney’s Garden Center were also a part of the float. After the float was dismantled, the trees would be donated to five nonprofit organizations: Cape Cod Center for Women, Heroes in Transition, Mashpee Senior Center, Falmouth Senior Center and one tree would be donated to a Mashpee family.

Everything was coming together so nicely and as President of the Board of Directors for the Cape Cod Children’s Museum, I was proud and excited to see this collaboration with Cape Cod Mom’s. All systems were set to go until the groups realized they needed transportation, (and by transportation I mean a truck with a tow), to pull the float in the parade. As the owner of a restoration company, we had a pick up truck large enough to pull the float. My husband Billy and I were thrilled to help out.

The day was absolutely beautiful—an unseasonably warm December day—and it was such a thrill to ride on the float and to witness the wonder of this experience with Mackenzie as she took in all of the sights, waving to the tens of thousands of people who lined the streets of Falmouth to see the parade. To say Falmouth takes pride in this tradition is a bit of an understatement.

I wished I could relive it all over again!

Flash forward a week— to Saturday night—and there I was again—with Mackenzie, this time riding along the route in Mashpee’s annual Christmas parade. Starting at the Mashpee Library and traveling through Mashpee Commons and onto Route 28, there we were, waving to the crowds that filled the streets on another unseasonably mild winter night. The parade started just after 5 p.m., and the floats were decorated with lights illuminating the dark December night.

I was so happy and lucky to participate in these two annual traditions and to have gotten to make these memories with my granddaughter—after all, that’s what the holidays are all about—making memories!

Water Damage From Frozen Pipes Ices Falmouth Restaurant Opening

12/13/2015 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage From Frozen Pipes Ices Falmouth Restaurant Opening Water Damage from frozen pipes at Falmouth Restaurant.

Frozen water pipes are a common cause of water damages in both homes and businesses. Typically they occur in vacant properties—summer homes that have been shut down for the winter season or a commercial property that is “in between” tenants. That was the case for a now popular restaurant in Falmouth.

The owner of this restaurant—a chef—was just about to embark on a lifelong dream of opening up his own place. He had signed the lease and was just about to get his business up and running. What should have been a turn-key operation, where he just walked in the door and began setting tables, became a different scenario where water covered almost every inch of the restaurant. The former tenants had shut off all the utilities, including the heat and a cold spell in January caused the pipes the freeze. Here’s a helpful hint: make sure that your home or business—even if it is vacant for a short period of time—has some degree of heat in it during the winter.

The damage caused from a frozen pipe bursting can be significant and that’s what happened in this case. It was a two level structure and water infiltrated both levels and the basement. It came in through the ceilings, the walls. Clean up for this water damage required significant work. Because the utilities were turned off, we had to bring in generators to power up our equipment, such as air movers and dehumidifying systems. We had to to pull sheetrock off the walls, remove insultation, carpeting, and flooring to restore this property. In the end, the restaurant received a full renovation as a result of this water damage.

I am happy to say that today, the owner is well on his way to success. His restaurant is very popular—the food is fabulous and the parking lot is always full. And I take great pride in knowing that my crew was able to step in make his water damage "Like it never even happened!"

Water Damage is No Fish Tale on Nantucket

12/13/2015 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage is No Fish Tale on Nantucket This photo shows the beautifully repaired restaurant after the water damage cleanup.

Water damage comes in many forms and while some damage occurs because of the old standard issues—a frozen pipe or plumbing issues—sometimes it comes from a less likely culprit.

I remember a water damage that occurred a few years ago at a popular Nantucket restaurant. A large tropical fish aquarium imploded—dumping 110 gallons of salt water into the dining room of the restaurant along with the beautiful tropical fish.

Fortunately, the restaurant was not open for business when the tank imploded so there were no customers injured in this incident. It was one of those popular restaurants…you know…the kind where you can’t get seated without a reservation and reservations need to be made well in advance. And the timing of this damage could not have been worse—just before the island’s annual Christmas stroll. Anyone who works or owns a business on the island knows that this particular holiday tradition is extremely important. Since most businesses shut down shortly after this weekend ward and remain closed until the spring, this holiday event is a business owner’s and his employees last chance to bring in some significant revenues before closing the doors and the books for the season. So it was critical that our crew was able to come in and get this job done as quickly as possible.

I don’t remember the number of fish that came floating out of the tank with the water—or if there were any fatalities among them—but I do remember that my crew was able to swoop in and make it "Like it never even happened" in less than three days.

While 110 gallons of water—along with the fish—sounds like a massive disaster that would cause significant damage, believe it or not the clean up from this incident was a bit easier than other standard water issues. Because the water damage occurred rather quickly and we were able to respond immediately, mold had not yet had a chance to form. We didn’t have to remove walls so there was minimal restoration work in that sense. After bringing in our equipment, cleaning up and drying out the restaurant, our client was able to open up in time to welcome guests for the Christmas stroll.

As a restoration company, we often respond to calls from business owners on Cape Cod and the Islands. Some jobs are more memorable than others and this one certainly falls into the category of memorable.

Smoke Damage Can Be Just As Destructive As Fire to a Carver Restaurant

12/12/2015 (Permalink)

Commercial Smoke Damage Can Be Just As Destructive As Fire to a Carver Restaurant Restaurant reopens for business as usual in 11 days after suffering a grease fire.

Where there’s smoke there’s fire but even worse, where there’s fire, there is smoke damage.

Are you thoroughly confused? As the owner of a restoration company, I have come to learn that the biggest loss in a fire isn’t always the things that get burned—it’s the things that the fire never even touches.

Last year, we got a call from the owner of a popular restaurant in Carver. They had just had a fire in the kitchen and needed my crew to come out and clean up the damage. Unlike a lot of the emergency calls we get, which tend to come in the middle of the night, this loss happened to occur during the day.

Better timing, right? Wrong.

When we arrived, customers were filling the parking lot, getting ready to head into their favorite restaurant for a great night out, completely unaware that the business had suffered this fire. And the owner couldn’t tell them how long it would be before he could open the doors to his restaurant again. I assure you, an unexpected closure is one of the greatest fears for any business owner and it is why I am especially committed and sensitive to getting things up and running as quickly as possible for my commercial customers.

The fire started in the restaurant's kitchen and even though the flames were contained—the majority of the smoke damage occurred on the main floor…in the dining room...where the customers eat.

Make no mistake about it…smoke damage can be extensive. Once it gets into fabrics, it is tough to eliminate it without the proper equipment and cleaners. My crew came in for the clean up and cleaned everything, literally from the floor to the ceiling. We cleaned the carpets, the curtains, the fabrics on the chairs and the table cloths. We cleaned everything right down to the salt and pepper shakers and the flower vases on the tables.

In every loss, especially one involving smoke damage, careful consideration has to be given as to whether to restore items or replace them. In this case, it was both more efficient and cost effective to clean small items like the vases and salt and pepper shakers than to discard them and order new. In addition to the cost of the items, there was the time that it would take for the items to be ordered and shipped. In any business—but especially a restaurant—time is money.

In just 11 days, less than two weeks, we had cleaned everything up, making it "Like it never even happened" so that our customer could open the doors of his business to their customers.

Water damage can dry up a business on Cape Cod

12/10/2015 (Permalink)

Commercial Water damage can dry up a business on Cape Cod The source of this water damage found on the first floor was found to come from the unit on the second floor of the building.

Nothing can be more alarming than walking along a hallway only to have your foot sink into a wet spongy area of the carpet...it’s a good indicator that you have a water damage. The first question that pops up is “where is the water coming from?” After all, you can’t fix the problem until you locate the source.

If water damage in a home is concerning, it is doubly concerning when it is a commercial property and even more distressing when it is a commercial business that cares for the elderly.

Not long ago, we received a call in the middle of the night from the owner of an assisted living facility on Upper Cape Cod who had just discovered a water problem in the common hallway. As you might expect, the owner was frantic. As the owner of a restoration company for more than eight years now, I’ve become accustomed to getting calls from panicked business owners calling me—usually in the middle of the night—needing my crew to go out there—immediately.

As a business owner, I appreciate the urgency of the situation and ensure that my team is there as quickly as possible to remedy the situation.

The facility’s staff had been searching for the source of the water. Naturally, they looked at the unit closest to the waterlogged carpet  but that apartment was dry. My crew arrived and after a bit of investigation, discovered that the water was coming from the unit one floor above. Apparently, the woman living in that apartment had planned to make a cup of tea. After setting the teapot in the sink, which covered the drain, she turned the faucet on to fill the pot and then walked away, forgetting about it.

She went to bed with the faucet running full force. Water overflowed the sink, spilling onto the floor, spreading out to the walls, running down inside of them to the floor below.

The clean up of this water damage involved the usual process and tools—removal of the flooring, exposing the wall cavity, bringing in antimicrobial air movers and dehumidifiers. But the real trick to this particular commercial clean up was getting everything done, soup to nuts, as they say, in a very short turnaround time. Yup, it took us just three days to make it "Like it Never Even Happened".

Post Construction Cleaning: The Finishing Touch for contractors on Cape Cod & Islands

12/1/2015 (Permalink)

Cleaning Post Construction Cleaning: The Finishing Touch for contractors on Cape  Cod & Islands The project of the day isn't done until it is clean and ready to use!

Has your home ever needed such a thorough cleaning that you thought it might be easier to just move?Remember how clean everything was when you moved into your newly built house? The new faucets sparkled; the light fixtures gleamed; and the appliances shined. I hate to spoil the illusion but more than likely a commercial cleaning company had come in to ensure that the home was spotless and up to your standards. 

Whenever a builder finishes a new house or even a renovation project, all of the beautiful materials and upscale amenities are usually covered under layers of dust combined with sawdust. Fingerprints typically coat the stainless steel appliances and mar the windows while muddy shoe prints leave a trail across the hardwood or tile floors. Tiled showers tend to have dirt inside them from the installation process and tubs are not ready for bathers. 

Those fabulous white shaker cabinets and beautiful shiny granite countertops that create the wow in a new kitchen renovation may have been selected by a designer and installed by the contactor, but it was the cleaning company who literally put the finishing touches on everything—making them shine and sparkle. 

As a cleaning and restoration company, we are the little elves who come in to do “post-construction cleaning. We are the team who cleans up after the trade workers have finished their jobs. We wipe their fingerprints off the windows and woodwork; we remove the debris collected in the tubs and showers during installation; we wipe down countertops and cabinets—polishing and making them shine, paying attention to the tiniest of details. We wash the floors removing any dirt left behind by the workers who walked in and out of the house during construction. We make it "Like it never even happened." 

Post construction clean ups are just as necessary for commercial projects as they are for residential projects…sometimes more so. Trust me…when you spend $8 million for a commercial project like the Boys and Girls Club of Nantucket…it better look like a 8 million bucks when the people…especially the donors…walk through the doors! 

Post-construction cleaning is an essential part of any project…whether it is residential or commercial. And it is very specialized cleaning—different from routine cleaning or yearly maintenance. As a restoration company, SERVPRO is typically the first one on the scene of a water damage or mold remediation, there to begin the clean up process after the damage. Because we offer post-construction clean up services, we are also the last ones on those water damage and mold remediation projects…polishing, shining, and cleaning…to make it "Like it never even happened."

Cleaning: It doesn’t have to be a dirty word for Cape Cod

12/1/2015 (Permalink)

Commercial Cleaning: It doesn’t have to be a dirty word for Cape Cod Subcontracting the cleaning services of your business can reduce more than the cost of the service expense.

Keeping up with the routine cleaning of a home can be a bit of a chore—especially if you are talking about bathrooms. And if you think keeping a home neat and tidy is a struggle, consider how difficult it can be to keep a business, apartment complex, hotel, or a restaurant clean.

As a restoration company, a significant part of the service we provide is commercial cleaning and not just after a major storm or property damage. We also provide regular cleaning services to Cape Cod and Island businesses. We literally offer floor to ceiling cleaning…and everything in between! From deep carpet or hardwood floors to cleaning the walls and ceilings to the blinds and shades, we take on the dirt and odors that have built up over time and make it "Like it never even happened."

One of the biggest challenges that business owners and restaurant managers face is getting somebody to consistently show up to clean their facilities….and to do the cleaning job well. And we’re not talking about light cleaning, like vacuuming the floors or emptying trash cans. We’re talking about the kind of cleaning most people dread doing. At SERVPRO, we’re not afraid to roll up our sleeves and get dirty to make your space clean. 

Restaurant owners especially appreciate our services. To say the least, cleanliness in a restaurant is as important as the quality of food that it serves and nothing is more unappetizing than a dirty dining room or dirty bathrooms in a restaurant. And since restaurant kitchens are subject to the scrutiny of government agencies, like the Board of Health, it is extremely important that cleaning jobs are done consistently and done well.

Because our team has in-depth training with respect to cleaning, we literally give every job the “white glove treatment.” We can see problems or potential issues, such as air ducts that might need to be cleaned out, where others might not notice. We can eliminate problems before they even happen.

As a cleaning and restoration company, we are constantly called on to do the routine cleaning at apartment or condominium complexes and not just because the service we provide is consistently good and reliable. Sure, we are held to a higher standard than other cleaning companies, but there are other benefits to using a cleaning company like SERVPRO rather than using maintenance staff. Subcontracting the cleaning services reduces other expenses, such as workers compensation and liability.

I’m so happy…and proud…. that Cape Cod and Islands’ business owners  are turning to SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands to make it "Like it never even happened."

Mold...the ugly truth for basements on Martha's Vineyard

11/14/2015 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold...the ugly truth for basements on Martha's Vineyard The Ugly Truth About Mold

The best that can be said about mold is that it helped in the discovery of penicillin. Other than that it is a rather unsightly fungus that can do serious damage to a home or building until a mold remediation team is called in.

Sure, we have all seen some small colonies of black mold creeping along the walls, especially in bathrooms. Let’s face it…where there’s water there’s mold. But there are times when we are blissfully unaware that water has made its way into our home… providing the perfect breeding ground for a cluster of spores to grow, spread, and travel, slowly decaying the structure behind the walls, the ceilings, or floors.

Last year’s series of never-ending snowstorms caused the formation of ice dams and these dams often caused water to back up into homes and buildings…in some cases the owners didn't think the water had seeped in was that bad.

Damp and moist conditions are the perfect conditions for growing mold, which can grow virtually anywhere— in basements, behind walls in framing, in carpet pads, and in the carpet itself. Moisture inside a home will definitely lead to mold and the only way to rid the building of the fungus is to call in a mold remediation team.

There is a difference between mold removal and mold remediation. The most important thing to understand is that mold is everywhere and it is impossible to completely get rid of it. My team at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and the Islands understands mold and therefore is experienced with the mold remediation process. This process begins with an assessment of the damage, which is followed by containing the damage, limiting air movement in the space and a thorough cleaning. The last step in the process is restoration, which can involve minor repairs to major reconstruction to make it like it never even happened.

Mold is more than just unsightly…there is an odor to it and exposure to high levels of household mold may cause health effects. Though you might be tempted to spray bleach on the affected areas, I wouldn’t recommend doing so, since that can actually increase the damage. Even if you are successful at covering up the unsightly stain, the spores continue to grow, and the mold continues to travel.

Here are some valuable tips for dealing with a mold problem.

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
  • Stay out of affected areas.

Water Damage...What you don't see can hurt you on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard

11/14/2015 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage...What you don't see can hurt you on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard Just because you don't see the obvious symptoms of a water damage doesn't mean you are safe from property damage.

Just because you can't see the water damage in front of you, doesn't mean that it isn't there.  For many of my customers, reminders of last year’s unending snow storms and accompanying ice dams began to surface some time around the spring and even into the summer and autumn. That's when they started to notice water stains on interior walls or a soft, mushy area on the floor. Whenever water makes its way into a home, it will do damage and it will continue doing damage until the issue is completely resolved. And the only way to properly treat it is to call in a restoration company to repair the water damage.

Believe it or not, sometimes a flood in the house can potentially cause less water damage than an ice dam. When you come home and find two inches of water in your basement because of a burst pipe or failed water heater, you immediately jump into action to get the water damage repaired. But when an ice dam causes water to back up into your home, it does so very quietly and discretely…behind a wall, where you can’t see it. By the time it makes its presence known, in the form of peeling paint, soaked carpets, buckled floors or moldy black marks on the wall under a window or an interior wall, the damage is extensive. But since it is not interfering with your daily living, you shrug and promise to take care of it…one of these days. The danger with this type of damage is that most people…myself included…underestimate the severity of the problem. And the longer you wait to fix it, the more damage it does, eventually compromising the integrity of the structure.

Just after I moved into my home in 1997, we had a nor’easter during the winter but I was completely unaware that any water had gotten into the house. It wasn’t until years later during a June rainstorm when I noticed signs of a water damage. The rain was falling pretty hard and I remember thinking, “gee, it sounds like it’s coming right inside the house.” That’s because it was. The damage from the nor’easter had gone unchecked for so long that structural damage had started to occur. I had to have the entire front of my house reshingled, walls removed and replaced. The good news is that it was covered under my homeowner’s insurance.

I certainly hope that we do not have a winter like we had last year but if we do, there are some precautions you can take to reduce the risk of ice dams. Make sure the attic properly insulated. Clean the gutters. And, if possible, remove the snow from the roof between snow storms. You can also look for tell-tale signs of a  water damage. Check for water stains or moisture in the attic or around the top of exterior walls on the top level of your home. If you notice any stains, contact a restoration company.

The Risks of Fire Damage Increases During the Holiday Season on Cape Cod and Islands

11/5/2015 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Risks of Fire Damage Increases During the Holiday Season on Cape Cod and Islands This photo shows the damage done by a fire which started twelve units away from it.

Every day we take certain measures to keep ourselves safe from accidents, fires, and other perils. We use our seat belts when we are driving and we insist that our passengers do the same. We place our children in their car seats to keep them safe. Hopefully, we refrain from texting while driving and never drink and drive, keeping ourselves and other travelers safe.

We also take precautions at home. We lock our doors and never leave valuables in our cars so that we are not the victims of a break-in. We keep our properties well lit to deter criminals. But even with the greatest of intentions and precautions on the minds of property owners, they sometimes forget that the greatest risk of all could be unintentionally caused by them. And what could that be, you ask.  House fires can be the most devastating accidents of all and  here are the top causes of fire damage to homes or housing complexes that you may or may not be aware of.

  • There are a number of sources for house fires and at the top of the list is cooking. Grease splatter or a pan overheating can quickly start a fire. Never leave a pot or pan, especially if you are using oil, unattended. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. Instead, cover it with a lid, to starve the fire of oxygen. Tip: As Thanksgiving Day approaches and you are tempted to fry the turkey instead of roasting it, make sure the fryer is a good distance from the house on a patch of dirt or sand.
  • Another source of home fires is the furnace or other heating elements, such as wood stoves and fireplaces. Remember to have your furnace checked annually. This not only reduces the potential for a fire or a puff back but helps the appliance operate efficiently. Be sure to have your chimney cleaned and remember to open the flue before starting a fire. Keep pets and children away from the fireplace when having a fire. Be careful when cleaning and disposing of ashes in the fireplace. Place discarded ashes in a barrel far away from the house.
  • Candles are lovely and certainly add to the ambiance in the room but they are also a major cause in many house fires.  When lighting candles, make sure that they are away from any loose fabrics, such as curtains. And NEVER leave a lit candle unattended.
  • Though smoking is all but taboo these days, people are still lighting up. Another big cause of home fires is poorly extinguished smoking materials. Make sure that smoking is off limits in bedrooms and that ash trays are deep and large. If at all possible, ask that smoking be done outside rather than in the house.
  • All too often, fires start because of an electrical malfunction. Be sure that electrical cords are not frayed and that you are not overloading extension cords. Though I applaud homeowners who can handle do it yourself projects, anything involving electricity might be better left to a licensed electrician. Tip: If you have to disconnect one appliance so that you can use another or if fuses blow and circuit breakers trip frequently or if the lights dim when you use another appliance, you may have a wiring problem and should call an electrician.
  • Take special care when storing flammable items such solvents, cleaning agents, thinners, or paint. Since the vapors can easily ignite from a high temperatures or small spark, be sure to store these items in a cool, ventilated area.
  • With Christmas just around the corner, make sure that the Christmas tree is positioned far enough away from heat sources, such as radiators, wood stoves, or heating systems. Check all lights and leave out any strings with frayed cords.

The old adage, It's better to be safe than sorry really holds true in these cases and we at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands want you to know we are here when you need us most!

Fire damage goes beyond material loss in Woonsocket, RI

11/4/2015 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire damage goes beyond material loss in Woonsocket, RI A fire at a 36-unit apartment complex in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

fire at a 36-unit apartment complex in Woonsocket, Rhode Island last month is a stunning example of the kind of disaster that you know can happen but hope never does. While loss of life is certainly the worst loss that can ever occur in a tragedy such as this, loss of personal belongings and the home you have come to call your own, is the second worst thing that can happen. We feel blessed to say that no one was seriously injured in this blaze.

Typically, when my crew arrives on the scene of a fire damage, they often deal with much more than just the loss caused by the flames, themselves. There is also soot and smoke damage as well as damage caused by the water that was poured on the flames. The loss can and often is extensive. Oftentimes, my crew is not only assessing the extent of the loss and evaluating what needs to be done to make it “Like it never even happened” they are reassuring the homeowners or tenants, offering emotional support and comfort to those affected by the catastrophe. It’s one of those skills that is innate, that cannot be taught in a training class and I’m fortunate that it seems to come natural to the members of my team. I feel lucky to have employees with this type of characteristic working for me.

In the recent Woonsocket fire damage, the structural damage was extensive. The fire started because an outdoor electrical source malfunctioned. As you would expect, the 12 units directly affected by the flames incurred the greatest amount of damage and were determined to be a total loss….condemned.

As the fire moved through the building, firefighters sprayed down the next 12 units with water to prevent the fire from traveling into them. While these units were not burned, they did incur extensive soot and water damage. In these units, my team came in—removed the sheet rock, insulation, the trim and flooring, drying everything out—preparing the structure to be repaired at a later date.

Though the last 12 units were unaffected by the flames or water, they still incurred soot damage. When firefighters enter a building one of the first things that they do is to knock down doors to ensure nobody is in the unit. With no doors on the apartments, the smell of the smoke and accompanying soot from the fire travels inside, imbedding itself into everything from the furniture to the carpets to clothes hanging in closets. Removing the soot and the smoky smell requires professional cleaning beyond a dry cleaner. Hint: Renter's Insurance is relatively inexpensive and covers the damage done to the tenant’s personal property. 

Most people do what they can to prevent a tragedy like a fire from happening. We take precautions but even with the best preventative measures, these disasters do happen. And when they do, companies like SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands can step in and restore things back to the way they were.

Halloween Safety is No Trick on Cape Cod & Islands

10/30/2015 (Permalink)

General Halloween Safety is No Trick on Cape Cod & Islands We plan to keep Mackenzie safe this Halloween with these simple tips and reminders.

Halloween is one of those holidays that is loved by children and adults…but for different reasons. I love the holiday because it arrives during the fall…one of my favorite seasons. I love the pumpkins, mums, and the other autumnal decorations. Children get excited about the holiday because they enjoy dressing up in costumes… becoming another character for a night. The only thing better than getting to dress up as somebody else is ending the night with a bag full of candy. Yup, doesn’t get much better than that.

I could grow nostalgic about Halloweens past, reflecting back on all of the fun and (and stress) of those days when my children were small and missing those early years. But instead of reminiscing, this year I am going to get to relive some of the fun….sort of. My granddaughter Mackenzie is going to celebrate Halloween and I get to bask in the glory of watching my daughter get her dressed up, teach her to say trick or treat, ask people for candy and after securing a bag full of the sweet confections, try to stop her from eating it all. Not quite two years old, Mackenzie is going to dress as a bumblebee and I assure you that she will be buzzing her way right into my heart.

This is such a fun holiday for children and a memorable one for adults but there are a few precautions we can and should take to make sure that it is not only a happy Halloween but a safe one, as well.

Tips for a safe Halloween

Make sure children’s costumes do not drag or hit the ground. Children tend to run rather than walk between houses.

Whenever possible, opt for face make up rather than masks. It can be difficult for children to see through the masks, especially after the sun goes down.

Do not let children under the age of 12 trick or treat alone.

Make sure children have some kind of a flash light or glow stick so that cars can see them. If possible, add reflective tape to their costumes.

When you are designing the costumes, take time to design the candy bags. Put some reflective tape on whatever container your children use to collect their candy. This will help to keep them seen when they are out at night.

The most popular trick or treating hours are between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Remember to be extra cautious when driving during those times and to keep an eye out for little trick or treaters.

Jack-o-lanterns with candles are a wonderful addition to any front door but, if possible, opt for the battery-operated candles available today.

Make sure your property is well lit so little feet do not trip over steps or other objects on the ground.

If you have pets, remember that chocolate is harmful to dogs. Try to keep your furry legged friends away from the door when the trick or treaters come by.

Most important of all, remember that dark chocolate is actually healthy for you. So please feel free to raid your children’s bags when they come home!

Happy Halloween from SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Islands.

Having the Emergency READY Profile Advantage helps Cape Cod Businesses Get Back to Business Faster

10/28/2015 (Permalink)

Commercial Having the Emergency READY Profile Advantage helps Cape Cod Businesses Get Back to Business Faster Having an Emergency READY Profile saves time and money by getting you back in business faster!

We work with local businesses that have an Emergency Ready Profile when they have a problem and need a quick response to ensure they can open their doors for business. However, there are those times when we have been called by businesses where the damage is so great, such as a fire or water damage that they can’t open their doors that day and their business is put on hold while the fire or water damage is cleaned up.

The shocking news is the fact that as many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are  "Ready For Whatever Happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

 

By creating a SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands Emergency READY Profile for your business, you can minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
  • Establishes a company known and trusted by the community as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a restoration professional recognized as an industry leader and close by to help you recover from a disaster. Read what our customer's think about our services.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."
Nothing bad ever happens at a convenient time!

Fall Back is a Good Time to Catch Up on Storm Preparations on the Cape Cod & The Islands

10/25/2015 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Fall Back is a Good Time to Catch Up on Storm Preparations on the Cape Cod & The Islands Use your time wisely to help you and your family prepare for potential storm damage.

This weekend marks the end of daylight savings time which means it’s time to fall back…giving us an extra hour on Sunday….an hour that could be used to prepare for any storms that might blow our way in the coming months.

I’m not sure about you, but I could use an extra hour in every day! I remember one year when daylight savings time ended, but my husband Bill and I failed to take advantage of the extra hour to sleep in. Oblivious to the fact that it was one hour earlier than the clocks in our house and cars indicated (yes, folks, this was the era before iPhones and smart phones that readjust the clocks for us), we got our three children up on Sunday morning, fed them breakfast, got them dressed, and loaded them into the car. We headed out to get a few errands done, which included some shopping. Thinking that it was well passed the scheduled noon opening time, we were stunned to find one store after another still closed. Confused and perplexed, we looked at one another until it finally dawned on us—everyone else in the state and the country remembered to turn their clocks back except for us.

As much as I celebrate gaining an hour, I also grieve it a bit, too, knowing that the sunsets will occur earlier, making the days feel shorter.  There is something sad about driving home from work in the dark. It signifies that the winter season—and the cold weather and the storms that go with it—really is just around the corner.

Since we do get an extra hour on the first Sunday morning when daylight savings time ends, the best use of this bonus time might be spent preparing for the upcoming winter season and checking on a few things. For instance, this is a great reminder to check the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It’s a good time to seal up any cracks around windows and doors to ensure that there are no cold drafts pouring into the home, driving up our heating bills. This is also a good time to schedule an annual maintenance of your furnace. This not only helps to prevent a “puff back,” which can blow soot all over your home and belongings, it also helps to ensure that the furnace is working efficiently, which helps keep the heating bills in check.

If you have a storm emergency kit, this is the time to check it to make sure that it is fully stocked with things like flashlights, candles, batteries, water, non-perishable foods, etc. If you don’t have a storm emergency kit, then this certainly is a good time to put one together.

Daylight savings should serve as a reminder to have your chimney cleaned, since a build up of creosote can cause a chimney fire.

This is also a good time to clean up exterior spaces—making sure that any outdoor furniture is stored away and any items that remain outside are properly covered.

Since daylight savings 2015 officially ends on November 1 this year, after the last of the trick or treaters have come and gone, go ahead and turn back the clocks in your house and take pleasure in knowing that you can enjoy an extra hour of sleep the next day. And if you happen to forget about the time change, fear not…your phone will let you know. 

Winter Storm Damage...Cape Cod & The Islands Are We Ready for 2016?

10/19/2015 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Winter Storm Damage...Cape Cod & The Islands Are We Ready for 2016? Don’t get caught without an emergency response profile to help with winter storm damage.

Winter storm damage never happens at a convenient time. Storms can range from a blissful snowfall to an extreme storm and we learned that the hard way during the winter season of 2015.

Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain. If a big storm is coming be prepared…fill your required prescriptions, gas tanks and your pockets with cash. 

Seriously, baby its cold outside and that’s why it’s important for families to get ready now. Before we know it winter will be here and we should take the time to create an emergency plan that includes enough food, water and supplies to last at least three days.

The biggest concern is that the electricity can be out for days as experienced during the winter season of 2014. Many areas did not have power for up to five days. And lastly, communication. How will you learn about what is going on in your community, where you can go for help or shelter or to learn what the plan is for the local authorities to help the community to recover? If there is no power you won’t be able to listen to the television or radio and the battery in your cell phone will not be able to be charged! Having a plan in place puts you in the driver’s seat! 

Before winter storm damage happens gather basic items that would be needed if you were house bound during a bad storm.

  1. One gallon of drinking water per person
  2. Non-perishable food (Canned, dried, nuts & protein bars)
  3. First aid kit
  4. Prescriptions and medications
  5. Toothbrush and toothpaste
  6. Feminine hygiene supplies
  7. Garbage bags
  8. Flashlights and batteries
  9. Hand Sanitizer in liquid form and towelette
  10. Blankets and Sleeping bags
  11. Matches
  12. Firewood
  13. Propane gas for grills
  14. Rock salt and Sand
  15. Shovels or snow Removal Equipment
  16. Candles
  17. Warm clothing

During the winter storm damage you should stay indoors. When you do venture outside be careful when walking on icy driveways and walkways. Avoiding overexertion when shoveling snow is key to staying safe. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Make sure you take breaks to rest and when possible push the snow instead of lifting or lift lighter loads. You will want to keep dry and change your wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Did you know that wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly? 

Important signs of severe health risks during a winter storm

  • Signs of Frostbite: Occurs when the skin and body tissue just beneath it freezes. Loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face, and the tip of the nose.
    What to Do: Cover exposed skin, but do not rub the affected area in an attempt to warm it up. Seek medical help immediately.
  • Signs of Hypothermia: Dangerously low body temperature. Uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.
    What to Do: If symptoms of hypothermia are detected take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, seek medical attention immediately. Get the victim to a warm location. Remove wet clothing. Warm the center of the body first by wrapping the person in blankets or putting on dry clothing. Give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Seek medical help immediately.
  • After every winter storm restock your emergency supplies to be ready in case another storm hits.

  • Assess how well your supplies and family plan worked. What could you have done better?
  • Take a few minutes to improve your family plan and supplies before the next winter storm hits.
  • Talk to your neighbors and colleagues about their experiences and share tips with each other. 
  • Mice Infestation can be a Headache for Martha's Vineyard Property Owners

    10/15/2015 (Permalink)

    Biohazard Mice Infestation can be a Headache for Martha's Vineyard Property Owners SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and The Islands has the training, protective gear, and equipment necessary to safely clean and restore mice infestation.

    Mice infestation can be a headache for property owners on Cape Cod and the Islands. With the cooler days of autumn come the chores of raking leaves and cleaning the gutters for the winter. Storing outdoor furniture and stacking wood are other essentials for preparing for the colder season. Lastly, we make sure that everything is properly secured in our backyards for those foul weathered days on the way. Humans are not the only ones who prepare for the upcoming season. Our dogs prepare by putting on their winter coats; some wildlife get ready by storing up food for the colder days.  Some—mice, for example—will plan for the upcoming winter by finding a cozy place to build their nests. And that often results in a problem for property owners. Tips: What you can do until help arrives.

    Because these rodents are without a skeletal system, they can easily maneuver into tiny spaces to gain entrance to a building. Once they are in, they get behind walls, in attics, basements and crawlspaces where fluffy pink insulation provides the ideal spot for nesting. If you think rabbits multiply, mice can double in population just as easily, quickly infesting a building.

    Once you begin to see evidence of mice infestation—usually in the form of tiny black feces no bigger than a sesame seed or holes chewed out of food containers in the pantry—you are going to have to address the problem. While getting rid of one or two mice is a one-person job, getting rid of many requires the expertise of a professional.  While exterminators can come in and eradicate the property of the mice infestation, that is where their job ends—leaving the property owner with the cleanup. And if there were a significant number of mice inside the structure, the damage and the cleanup are going to be far more than just picking up a few droppings or throwing out food from the pantry.

    We have been called onto jobs where a mice infestation had occurred, practically establishing an entire condominium complex inside the rafters of the basement.  They damaged the insulation and contaminated large portions of the property. Our team came in removed the killed rodents—exterminators usually set traps that contain poison that once eaten kill the creatures immediately which leaves a pungent odor. We also disposed of their feces and any contaminated insulation. Lastly, we sanitized the framing and studs and replaced the insulation, making it “Like it never even happened.”

    Hint: If you suspect a mice infestation, contact a professional immediately.

    How To Deter Mice From Entering Your Home

    ·      Install door sweeps on exterior doors and seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home or building.

    ·      Do not leave doors open and this includes the bulkhead.

    ·      Keep trash in secure buckets outside & away from the              house.

    ·      Dispose of trash on a regular basis.

    ·      Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home or building.

    Hiring A Restoration Firm To Clean Up After a Fire Damage in Plymouth, MA 02360

    10/15/2015 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage Hiring A Restoration Firm To Clean Up After a Fire Damage in Plymouth, MA 02360 Before and after photos of a kitchen fire that we provided service for in Plymouth, MA 02360

    Time is critical in the aftermath of a fire damage and, ideally, restoration efforts begin right away. Aside from destruction caused by flames and heat, the acid contained in soot is a primary cause for ongoing damage to a home or commercial building.  SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands has the experience, training and resources to help you after a fire.

    Fire damage, including smoke and soot, affects not only the structure of your property but also your belongings. For this reason, quick action is imperative and removal of the soot is urgent. If left to accumulate, the acid soot can form a thick layer that is extremely difficult to remove and may irreversibly destroy textiles, furnishings, carpeting, walls, appliances, and fixtures. Unless the problem is contained without delay, soot accumulation can increase the cost of restoring a building to pre-loss condition exponentially.

    Property owners may feel compelled to start the cleanup but sometimes that can cause more damage. Using the wrong product can actually cause more damage to surfaces affected by smoke damage. Walking around can grind soot into the floor making areas not salvageable. And let's not forget that it is with certain that anyone working on a fire damage should be wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to protect themselves from breathing in possibly harmful chemicals that are a byproduct released from items that burned in the fire such as plastic. The cleaning experts can do intricate and detailed restoration services that are best suited for each situation to make the outcome, "Like it never even happened."

    This is what our customers had to say about us when we helped them recover from a fire damage.

    Vandalism in Harwich, MA more than Just Malicious Mischief

    10/12/2015 (Permalink)

    Biohazard Vandalism in Harwich, MA more than Just Malicious Mischief Vandalism cleanup may be covered under your insurance policy.

    While it took the three bears nearly a full day to determine that Goldilocks had broken into their house and had been sitting in their chairs, eating their porridge, and sleeping in their beds, in real life it typically takes the average homeowner less than a few minutes to discover that their home has been vandalized.

    Victims of this crime will tell you that it leaves them feeling violated and vulnerable. While the motivation behind most house breaks is robbery, many of those crimes involve some degree of property damage and even vandalism. Oftentimes, vandals will break into a house and use it as a place to stay during a cold winter. Called squatters, these vandals can do a certain degree of damage to the home. The worst damage, however, has come from teen offenders. 

    Properties with vandalism by teenagers who used the vacant house as a place to party and hang out can be a property owner's nightmare. But they went well beyond just hanging out and drinking beer. The kids threw parties, broke glass, set off the fire extinguishers throughout the property and left the refrigerator doors open so all the food spoiled, leaving a pungent odor behind. The cleanup from this type of vandalism required much more than just a good scrubbing to make it “Like it never even happened.”

    Hint: Our services to cleanup the vandalism were covered by the property owner's insurance policy. Check your policy to see if you have this type of coverage too. 

    Our Advice: Consider purchasing an alarm system or hiring a caretaker (one that comes with references from people you know and trust is the best) to check on your property on a regular basis. Both of these are great ways to protect your property while you are away… not only from unwanted guests but also other hidden problems like water damage.  

    What to do if you believe your home has been broken into.

  • Contact the police immediately.
  • Do not touch anything.  
  • Leave the home. If the suspects are still in the house, it can be dangerous to confront them. 
  • Call a professional cleaning company to help with the cleanup. 
  • Raccoon Family are the unwanted guests in an Osterville, MA Home

    10/7/2015 (Permalink)

    Biohazard Raccoon Family are the unwanted guests in an Osterville, MA Home This raccoon may look cute but you can't imagine the damage that he can do to your home!

    The only thing worse than your teenage son or daughter throwing a party in your home for a hundred of their closest friends might be a family of raccoons squatting in your summer home over the winter. If this scenario sounds highly unlikely, keep on reading because that is exactly what happened to one of our customers.

    He had just arrived at his Osterville home, planning to open it for the summer. When he opened the front door and saw the destruction in his home, he was shocked. A house full of frat boys with an unlimited supply of alcohol couldn’t have done more damage than this family of raccoons. Tips for Property Owners

    With paws that act as human hands and fingers with the dexterity of a great surgeon, raccoons can get into anything they want—cabinet doors, refrigerators—nothing is out of reach. The vandalism was almost beyond words. They broke into the pantry and cabinets. The animals ripped holes in the wall to get at the insulation. They drank from the toilet and defecated throughout the house. Urine-soaked drywall caused a bedroom ceiling to cave in. The critters' paw prints could be seen on the walls throughout the house and on the central fireplace, providing the evidence of how they broke into the home. The animals even slept in the beds. 

    We arrived on the scene ready to begin the cleanup process but soon discovered that the work would have to wait. The vermin were still making their way back into the house and they had to be caught and completely removed from the area before we could start cleaning.

    Hint: The best method for removing raccoons is with a trap baited with food.

    One of the biggest concerns with this type of damage was the potential health issue. Raccoons are the primary host of Baylisascaris procyonis, a roundworm that can be harmful to people. Roundworm eggs are passed in the feces of infected raccoons, and people become infected when they breathe in the eggs. Anyone who is exposed to environments where raccoons frequent is potentially at risk. Wearing respirators to protect themselves, my team began the arduous process of making that scene of immense destruction, “Like it never even happened.”

    Hint: Most insurance companies do not cover the damages caused by vermin getting into the house.

    How to clean up after a raccoon has gotten into your home!

    • Take care to avoid contaminating hands and clothes.
    • Wear disposable gloves.
    • Wear rubber boots that can be scrubbed or cover your shoes with disposable booties that can be thrown away, so that you do not bring eggs into your household.
    • Wear a N95-rated respirator if working in a confined space to prevent accidental ingestion of eggs or other harmful materials.
    • Feces and material contaminated with raccoon feces should be removed and burned, buried, or bagged and placed in the trash to be sent to a landfill.

    Heating Things Up on Our Wedding Anniversary at Home in Sandwich, MA

    10/6/2015 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage Heating Things Up on Our Wedding Anniversary at Home in Sandwich, MA A romantic fire can turn into a soot mess in a matter of minutes.

     As the cooler days of autumn arrive, I cannot help thinking about my upcoming anniversary. It is without doubt one of my favorite “holidays” to celebrate and I genuinely enjoy coming up with new ways to surprise my husband on our special day. And I have to admit that last year I truly outdid myself in terms of shocking Billy…and me.

    I had gotten home before Billy and started preparing for our celebration. I turned on the soft music, made myself a Cosmo, lit some candles around the room and then lit the fireplace. I was just about to change into “something a little more comfortable” when I noticed the room becoming smoky. I quickly determined that the flue in our chimney was broken and didn’t fully open. As the smoke continued backing up and pouring into the house, I considered different ways to douse the flames and decided that the fire extinguisher would be the best and safest method. Once the fire was out, I looked around and noticed all the soot covering my freshly painted walls. As the owner of a restoration company dealing with fire and soot damage on a daily basis, I knew the best way to clean the walls was with SERVPRO’s Wall & All cleaner. So I immediately got my rubber gloves, the cleaner, a bucket, and went to work. It was at that moment that my husband walked through the front door. Instead of finding me dressed in “something a little more comfortable” holding a drink in my hand…ready to celebrate, he saw me kneeling on the floor, wearing my sexiest rubber gloves, cleaning the walls. Yup, unfortunate surprises even happen to the owners of a restoration company. 

    HINT: Every home should have a fire extinguisher. Try to keep it near the kitchen, where most fires start.

    The Do’s of Fireplace Safety

  • Make sure the flu is open before starting a fire.
  • Have your chimney cleaned once a year. A buildup of creosote can cause a chimney fire.
  • Keep the doors closed and a hearth gate up if there are small children in the home. Supervise young children at all times when a fire is lit.   
  • The Don’ts of Fireplace Safety

  • Don't use gasoline to start the fire or to get it burning stronger. 
  • Don't let children sit near the hearth.
  • Don't burn a Christmas tree, which can cause a fire in your chimney.
  • Don't forget to check the fire to be sure it is fully out before you go to bed.
  • Don’t put the ashes and embers in the trash. Be sure to properly dispose of them at a safe distance from the house or other structures. 
  • Flooding: What Happens When It Rains Here on Cape Cod & Islands

    10/2/2015 (Permalink)

    Storm Damage Flooding: What Happens When It Rains Here on Cape Cod & Islands The remnants of a storm that passed over Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.

    Life on this side of the bridge is vastly different from the rest of the world.

    In any other part of the state, a forecast for a tropical storm or hurricane will certainly have people running for the grocery stores—and I’m still not sure how bread and milk is critical to storm survival—but when you live on the Cape and the islands, those same predictions conjure up much different anxieties.

    Any fierce storms accompanied by strong winds can leave the people on this side of the bridge susceptible to becoming isolated from the rest of the world. Sustained winds of 70 miles per hour or higher will close the Bourne and Sagamore bridges, leaving Cape Codders and Islanders cut off from “civilization.” Depending on where you live and which side of the bridge you happen to be on when they are closed, that may not be a bad thing. For those living on Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket, isolation is even more frequent and probable. When the winds blow hard enough and the seas get rough enough, the Steamship Authority makes the call where you can stay or go! For people who happen to live on one of the islands and are visiting the “mainland,” or vice versa, worry goes well beyond, “will I have milk and bread for the next 24 hours,” to “can I get home before the storm.”

    I have been in situations where either I—or my crew—had to scramble to get that last ferry or plane on or off and know it is not a fun game to be played. Before you start thinking that getting stranded on either side seems more like a vacation than an inconvenience, consider that there tends to be fewer hotels and restaurants open during the winter and there are very few vacancies in the summer.

    I have also found myself in the predicament where I was off Cape and needed to get to this side of the bridge before a storm hit. It is even more stressful waiting for a loved one to make it home before the possibilities of either the bridges closing or the ferries and planes shutting down.

    As Hurricane Joaquin losses steam as he makes his way up the east coast, I am preparing for any remnants he might throw my way and this includes everything from making sure that my crew is ready for any calls that come in to fighting off shoppers for that last loaf of bread to making sure that I am on the right side of the bridge before the storm hits.

    If you have ever been unable to make it home during a storm to the Cape and Islands or worse—stranded at the airport—tell me about it. I would love to hear your story. 

    Wind and Flood Damage….A Coastal Property’s Enemy on Cape Cod

    10/2/2015 (Permalink)

    Storm Damage Wind and Flood Damage….A Coastal Property’s Enemy on Cape Cod Water damage from a passing storm near Cape Cod.

    Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a property owner on the Cape and Islands like the words, Hurricane or Tropical Storm. Sure, we have lived through some significant storms—everyone remember Hurricane Bob?— and perhaps that is why we take it seriously when predictions about a hurricane or tropical storm begin to surface. Even if the storm doesn’t live up to the hype of weather forecasters, we know that these storms are likely going to include wind, rain, and flooding and those elements can do significant damage to coastal properties….whether those properties are located close to the water or a bit further inland. All homes and businesses are vulnerable to the damage that rain, wind, and flooding can cause but ironically many property  owners are not aware of the damages that can occur, how to respond to those damages, and what is even covered under their insurance policies.

    There are two types of water damage?

    Yes, there are two ways that water can get into your home—from the top and from the bottom. If it infiltrates the home from the roof, usually because of faulty shingles or gutters that were not cleaned, it is definitely an inconvenience but, fortunately, it is usually covered under your insurance policy. If it enters from the basement, it is called groundwater infiltration and this type of water damage is most likely not going to be covered by your insurance policy. But make no mistake about it, the damage needs to be cleaned up as soon as possible. If the basement is unfinished, and by unfinished, I mean concrete floors and walls with no drywall, framing, insulated walls, or carpeting and the water level is low—less than an inch—you can probably handle the clean up yourself. Start by turning off the power in that area—remember electricity and water are a bad combination, so be sure you know what you are doing—then prop up any items or boxes off the floor to mitigate further damage. Hint: if any of the boxes are cardboard, replace them with plastic bins. Even if the cardboard did not get wet, the material is a source of food for mold and wet cardboard is considered mold’s Thanksgiving Day. Remove the standing water by mopping it up, pushing it out with a broom or using a sump pump. If you have fans, bring those in to circulate the air and dry out the space. Hint: If there is any evidence of mold, do not use the fans since this will spread the spores. If the water level in the unfinished basement can be measured in inches or if the basement is a finished room to any degree, you need to call in a professional.  The water remediation professionals at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to make it, “Like it never even happened.”

    Hot tip #1: If the water level can be measured in feet, you definitely need to call in a professional, immediately. When a high volume of water is pumped outside at a high rate of speed, it may cause significant structural damage.

    Wind can cause a variety of damages…from sending furniture and other debris into the air, crashing into windows, to knocking trees onto roofs, to ripping shingles up from the roof. The biggest misconception that property owners have about wind damage pertains to their insurance deductible. Most property owners believe that the deductible or amount that they will have to pay is based on the cost of the damage; however the deductible is actually based on the percentage of the total value for which the home is insured.

    Any damage caused by the wind should immediately be addressed. A broken window should be boarded up from the outside and any hole in the roof should be covered—from the outside!—with a tarp. Yes, we actually responded to a damage where the tarp used to protect the roof was secured from the inside and not the outside—providing a nice area for rain to collect causing the tarp to collapse inside the structure. If you are unsure of how to properly secure your home or reluctant to head up to the roof, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and The Islands, who can begin the process of making it, “Like it never even happened.”

    Hot tip #2: Take notice of the trees around your property. If a tree’s root system does not seem sound or strong or there appears to be some erosion, consult an expert. Remove any branches that are hanging close to the roof or whose width is not relative to the height of the tree. 

    5 things to do before the storm arrives: 

  • Look around the property. Anything that is unsecured, lawn furniture, toys, tables, and chairs should be brought inside or stored away. Secure the grill as much as possible.
  • If your property is located near the water, and you have hurricane shutters, go ahead and use them, even if the storm is not categorized as a hurricane.
  • Remove any solar-powered ground lights. Ground lights that are hard-wired can be left in the ground.
  • Wrap burlap around ornamental trees or fragile bushes. You can also stake and string trees and bushes.
  • Take in any window air conditioners.
  • 4 things to do…and not to do… after a damage 

  • If water has infiltrated the basement, shut off the power. Remember, electricity and water are a deadly combination. If you have to walk through standing water to get to the circuit breaker box, consider calling your power company to come out to shut off the power. If you are unsure of the best and safest way to shut off the power, call your local fire department.
  • To mitigate any further damage to your valuables, raise any items up off of the floor and out of the water.
  • If the roof has incurred any damage, immediately cover it with a tarp. If a window has been broken, immediately board it up. If you are unsure of how to do this, contact a professional.
  • Check on neighbors—especially the elderly—to make sure they are safe.

    Fire Happens In a Blink of an Eye in Buzzards Bay, MA

    9/26/2015 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage Fire Happens In a Blink of an Eye in Buzzards Bay, MA Fire Damage at Eastern Inn, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532

    Fire Damage can occur in a blink of an eye.

    In 2014, there were 1,298,000 fires reported in the United States causing $11.6 Billion in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The same site quotes, “a fire is reported in the U.S. every 64 seconds.” Many agree that the kitchen and more specifically, cooking is the #1 culprit. You may call your unclean stovetop messy, but safety experts would call it dangerous! Not cleaning your stovetop can result in grease buildup, which is flammable.  Tip # 1: If a grease or oil fire does occur, do not try to stop it with water. Water on a grease or oil fire will only make the fire bigger. Instead, smother the fire with a nearby pan lid or cookie sheet. There are two types of destructive fires that can occur at a residential or commercial property. One variety is a small-centralized fire in a kitchen mentioned above that damages only a few items while the other type is a large fire that destroys numerous important materials such as drywall and insulation of a building. Not only is a fire destructive due to hot flames, but there are additional problems from poisonous smoke and greasy soot that make it difficult to restore a property and the water or extinguisher that is used to put out the flames.

    The Role of Fire Restoration Technicians

    SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands’ fire restoration technicians are trained to restore a property as quickly as possible to prevent additional damage from soot, smoke and water. One of the first things that require repair are roofs and walls to prevent exposure to rain, snow and cold air. And the boarding up of any damaged doors and windows to reduce the chance of theft and personal liability. These repairs permit workers to enter a building to complete essential restoration to other fire damage materials. At the same time, SERVPRO technicians begin the process of removing water prevent moisture damage.

    Improving Air Circulation

    After a fire occurs, buildings often become humid from the water used to douse flames. Unfortunately, power in the building is frequently turned off, leading to poor air circulation. Lack of air circulation causes secondary problems from smoke odor and humidity. Our fire damage technicians install the fan systems to circulate air and reduce humidity levels. With an improvement in air quality and removal of moisture, it is possible to restore power to a building to complete other restorations.

    Cleaning and Sanitizing Surfaces Affected by Fire

    After major repairs are completed; our trained experts begin cleaning and sanitizing surfaces damaged by smoke and soot. Removing filthy soot is a specialized process to avoid contaminating other items. Industrial-strength equipment scrubs the surface while vacuuming debris that is isolated for disposal. Our technicians use sump pumps and extraction machines to remove moisture from water-soaked areas.

    Why hire a Fire Damage Remediation Expert

    After a fire, hiring a professional fire remediation company like SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands helps the property owner be able to begin the cleanup immediately upon the approval from the fire inspector after determining the cause and origin of the fire and that the building is safe to work in.  Hiring us means that you have someone taking care of your needs 24/7. We work directly with your insurance company and adjuster to help the process go as smooth as possible. Our goal is to ensure that you and your family will be back in your home or business as soon as possible making this terrible tragedy “Like it never even happened.”

    More information see: Fire Damage can occur in a blink of an eye 

    Puff Backs Happen When Your Furnace Malfunctions

    9/25/2015 (Permalink)

    Fire Damage Puff Backs Happen When Your Furnace Malfunctions Furnace Malfunction in the basement sent soot residue all over the ceilings, walls and furniture in this home.

    As the steamy nights of summer give way to cooler autumn nights and chilly fall mornings, it quickly becomes apparent that we do, in fact, need to turn the dial on the thermostat. With strength, determination, and perseverance, every year I find myself in a battle with the thermostat as I try to hold off on moving the dial for as long as humanly and comfortably as possible. Inevitably the colder temperatures win out and I find myself waving the white flag and switching it on. For many people, turning the heat on for the first time in the season calls attention to a problem with the furnace and they end up experiencing a “puff back.”

    How Does a Puff Back Occur?

    A puff back happens when an oil burner doesn't ignite immediately and oil fumes are allowed to build up before ignition, resulting in an explosion similar to the backfiring of a car.  It can also occur due to a buildup of debris, causing an excessive explosion when the furnace turns on.  In either case, the explosion sends soot and debris through the furnace or boiler's exhaust system and into your home or business.  The problem tends to be worse with forced hot air systems (opposed to a forced hot water system) as the heating ducts spread soot into every corner of your home, with the same efficiency that they spread heat as seen in this photo above.

    Hot tip #1: Most puff back cleanups are covered by insurance and the professionals at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands can make it "Like it never even happened.” Out clients often tell us that their home and business looks and smells cleaner than before!

    During a puff back event, oil based soot usually covers all areas of the property including drapes, bedding, furniture, clothing, cabinets, ceilings, walls and floors and is extremely difficult to remove. Most times, you will know that you’ve had a furnace puff back! But there are times when it is harder to detectsince the soot coverage can range from a light dusting to a concentrated dark appearance especially on horizontal surfaces like countertops. While you may be tempted to clean the affected area, the "dust" will “re-appear” hours later. There may or may not be a strong odor of oil in affected rooms and don’t be fooled that the dust is only where you see it because it travels everywhere that air does—every nook and cranny. Sometimes you will find what you think are black “spider webs” in the corners of a room; but really they are a collection of the sticky soot. At SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands, we have the right equipment, cleaning products and trained technicians to make it, "like it never even happened."

    The causes for a puff back vary from the age of a boiler, to maintenance issues to a malfunction.

    Hot Tip # 2: The cost to repair the furnace would most likely NOT be covered by insurance. 

    As you can imagine, a puff back creates an unhealthy environment and you should not touch or breathe the soot or particulates that are floating through the air and onto the surfaces of your home or business. Like the exhaust from a car – these particles can be a carcinogenic for us and our loved ones to breathe.  It's especially unhealthy for young children and our elderly relatives.

    Hot tip #3: Most oil companies can also inspect and service the boiler at your property, which greatly reduces the chances of a puff back; however, there is no guarantee against such an occurrence.

    8 things you should do after soot damage

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from becoming embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
  • Throw away all exposed food
  • Call a repairman to fix the malfunctioning furnace
  • Call a cleaning service, such as SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands to clean up the soot and chemicals
  • 5 things you should NOT do after soot damage

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
  • Don’t use standard cleaning products that could cause further damage and may not get rid of the oil residue and odors.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fans or increase air circulation as this will only spread the soot around.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor. 
  • Are You Ready for a Storm?

    9/25/2015 (Permalink)

    You wouldn’t wait until December 24 to start preparing for Christmas, so why wait until a storm is predicted to begin preparing for that event. As someone who works well under the pressure of a deadline, I understand how attractive procrastination can be. But when it comes to the safety of my family and taking care of my property, I cannot put off until tomorrow what should be dealt with today. When you plan before a crisis, you have the benefit of clarity of thought and therefore your action plan will be complete and hopefully your emergency kit will contain a few unexpected pleasures.

    According to the website, ready.gov, there are several plans to put into place now so that you can rest somewhat easy when television stations across the state preempt favorite television shows to talk about an approaching storm.

    1. Have a plan in place for receiving emergency alerts and make sure all family members know where to meet in case the family is separated before or during an event. Cell phone coverage will most likely be limited so know where the closest emergency shelter is and consider making that your meeting place. Make a paper list of contact numbers and make sure all members of the family have a copy of the list. Just as an aside, don’t you miss the days when we could memorize our children’s and parents’ telephone numbers?

    2.  Emergency Kit. While most people know that it is important to put together an emergency kit, the majority of people do not know what items to put into the kit. After all, one person’s necessity is another person’s, “what the heck is that doing in here?” According to ready.gov, the kit should contain one gallon of water per person for at least three days, a flashlight with batteries, medications, a first aid kit, a whistle to signal for help, pliers or a wrench to turn off water or utilities, a manual can opener, and non-perishable canned goods. The kit can also contain games that the family can play or small toys and activities, depending on the age of your children. Consider including some hygiene products, such as hand sanitizer, wet cloths, and deodorant. Since you are preparing this kit well in advance of a storm, consider putting in some nice to have items, such as chocolate or other treats. Yes, you should change those items out with a fresh supply every few months.

    3.  Alternative Energy Solutions. If you have a backup power generator, make sure that it has been installed by a licensed electrician and has been tested. If the generator is gas powered, be sure that it is located a safe distance from the home. If you are using a fireplace or wood stove as a heat source during power loss, make sure that you have enough wood to keep warm for at least three days and that the home is properly ventilated. Check on neighbors—especially elderly neighbors—to make sure they are warm and safe. While a gas grill can be a great alternate cooking source, NEVER bring it inside the home or into garage.

    4. If the power does go out, chances are gas stations will not have power either and therefore, pumps will not work. Make sure that your vehicle’s gas tank is full and that there is gas for the generator and snow blower.

    September is hurricane preparedness month so take a few days to consider the items you use on a daily basis, the things your children love and that bring them comfort and make sure that as many of those items as possible are in your emergency kit. When a hurricane or severe snow storm does hit, it can be very inconvenient and uncomfortable. Being prepared for the storm can take away some of that discomfort and even make surviving a few days without power a fun memory.

    It's Gratitude Time

    9/25/2015 (Permalink)

    Today, both the day and night are equal in length, otherwise known as the Equinox. To celebrate the changing of seasons and the beginning of Autumn and the Equinox which occurred this morning at 4:21 am, September 23rd I would like to share my gratitude and encourage others to do the same! I'll go first.

    I'm grateful for...

    My husband and best friend

    Morning run with crisp autumn air

    Dark roast coffee

    My favorite restaurants

    Watching the birds in the blue skies

    Seeing how my work can sometimes change a person's life

    Ok now it's your turn!

    Love to hear from you.

    Beth

    5 Steps Business Owners Can Take to Prepare for a Hurricane on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard

    9/25/2015 (Permalink)

    Storm Damage 5 Steps Business Owners Can Take to Prepare for a Hurricane on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard This photo is of Hurricane Sandy as it approaches Nantucket , MA in 2012.

    The last week of September is Hurricane preparedness week in the U.S. The potential dangers from a hurricane or any significant storm include storm surge, power outages, possible electrical hazards, and falling trees. We know that nothing bad ever happens at a convenient time so now is the time to Plan, Talk, and Practice your Emergency Profile Response. Be ready for anything at any time. Here are five steps that business owners can take to be ready for a hurricane or any other storm.

    1. Create a Plan of Action. Establish who will be notified and in what order. This will help to keep everyone calm and creates a sense of order for both your employees and customers. Identify how you will communicate before, during, and after a hurricane. Remember, service for things like landlines, cell phones may be limited, so you will want to establish alternative forms of communication. Make sure employees are given a master cell phone contact list and everyone has it. A couple of good ways to let the public know you are still in business is through local radio, blogging, and social media outlets. Prepare a message prior to a storm. This is an ideal way to minimize the down time of communication.
    2. Establish your Needs:The #1 concern is electricity. Make sure a licensed electrician determines your power needs and what kind of back-up generator will work best for your situation. If you rent a space, check with the landlord first and get permission to bring a generator on to the property.
    3. Supply and Demand. Develop a master list of your vendors who understand your company’s needs and its expectations if the “Big One” hits! Don’t forget to ask them if they have a recovery plan too!
    4. Double Check Coverage. Contact your insurance agent to find out if your policy is up-to-date. Consider Business Interruption Insurance, which compensates you for lost income if you have to close your doors when disaster strikes. It’s also important to understand what your carrier’s plan is for recovery if there is a large area effected by damage.
    5. Prepare Staff. Your staff should be aware of your company’s Emergency Response Profile and understand their role and responsibilities in implementing the plan. Like your vendors, you should ask your employees if they have a recovery plan. We have a monthly staff meeting at our office and every September we always find it timely to share with our staff the importance of being prepared during hurricane season.

    Quick Hacks to Understanding Today's Language

    9/18/2015 (Permalink)

    While skimming through various social media platforms as well as some online news pages, I began to notice familiar words that now have new meanings. For instance, the word, hack—I have always considered that word to mean something negative—as in, “somebody hacked my Facebook.” Suddenly, it’s a great thing to do—“seven hacks to cutting credit card debt.” After researching the word, I learned that it is the shortened version of the word, life hack, which is defined as “a tip, trick, or efficient method for doing or managing a day-to-day task or activity.”

    Here are some other words, phrases, symbols that now have new definitions and connotations as well as some abbreviations that have become a part of today’s language.

    The symbol # is now referred to as hash tag and often refers to a tweet. Just ten years ago, it was called the pound sign and in the days before cell phones and iPads, we would draw that symbol on a piece of paper and play tick tack toe with a friend. But most businesses still refer to it as a pound sign—for instance when you call their customer service department and are told to press the pound sign if you wish to remain on hold for the next seven hours until a customer service representative can speak with you.

    Remember when the word tweet referred to the sound that a birdie makes? We now call our home phone our landline and when it rings, we immediately check the television to see who is calling. Ninety-nine percent of the time it is a robo call—the new telemarketer.

    Remember when a smiley face was a smiley face and not an emoji?

    And then there are the abbreviations.

    If you’re wondering what the letters IDK written in a text message from your child mean, I don’t know. No. Seriously. I don’t know. It’s a bit like, “who’s on first.”

    Here’s breaking news to keep you updated on today’s abbreviations so that you are not using outdated phrases that are so last week. According to Facebook, Haha, followed closely by laughing emojis and hehe, has officially replaced LOL, which stands for laugh out loud.

    Remember when teens were “instant messaging” one another on the “family computer” and using the abbreviation MOS—“Mom over shoulder,” to let their friends know they couldn’t “talk?” While that abbreviation has gone the way of the dinosaur and the desktop computer it was typed on, a new abbreviation—NSFW has taken its place. The abbreviation means Not Safe For Work, referring to material that should not be viewed while a person is sitting at their desk in the workplace. I am guessing the same generation that typed MOS is also responsible for coining the acronym NSFW.

    It is interesting to see some of the new phrases and abbreviations that have evolved to become a natural part of our language and to consider what we will be saying—and not saying—in just a few years. Feel free to share some of your favorite new words and catch phrases. 

    Making A Difference in Wareham, MA

    9/18/2015 (Permalink)

    Mold Remediation Making A Difference in Wareham, MA SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Islands was called to clean a home that had a furnace malfunction and discovered hoarding conditions.

    The best we can hope for in life is that we do what we love and love what we do. One of the things I love most about my job is that it offers me the opportunity…. each and every day….to step in and help a fellow human being in need. That was the case a few years ago when we received a call to clean up a puff back from a furnace…. a rather routine service.

    The moment we stepped into the small home, we knew this was going to be a complicated job. The homeowner had done extensive traveling, and collected a significant number of figurines, memorabilia and books. Though she had downsized from a larger home to a smaller one, she had not downsized the contents of her house. Furniture, books, and lots of small items filled her cottage, leaving just a narrow aisle to get from one room to another. Without judgment, I immediately recognized that our customer suffered from a condition called hoarding. Working with a family member, I suggested that since we had to clean all of these items, which had been affected by the soot from the puff back, that we neatly and respectfully box up any unnecessary things for daily living so that they could be stored in the attic. We reduced the contents in her living space by about 70 percent, allowing our client to hold on to her treasured possessions without letting them interfere with the quality of living in her home.

    During the clean up, we noticed the basement was riddled with mold—another health hazard to our customer. I immediately called the insurance company told them the situation and got approved so that we could clean up another potential health hazard for this elderly woman. By the time we had finished the job, we had cleaned and organized our customer’s home so that it was a safe and healthy space for her to enjoy her life and the things that bring her joy. I feel so lucky to be in a position to do that for people and I consider it one of the many benefits of my job. I am sure that everyone, no matter what their career is, has a memory of when they left work at the end of the day feeling like they made a difference in someone's life. Please feel free to share your story—I would love to hear it! 

    Hoarding: It's More than Clutter

    9/11/2015 (Permalink)

    Biohazard Hoarding: It's More than Clutter It's a dirty job but we will work with you to determine what is of value or needs to be thrown away.

    As the owner of a restoration company, I am usually one of the first people on the scene of a property damage. When someone experiences damage to their home, there is an emotional part that comes into play and I can’t help but to be affected and even become emotionally involved. As a result, there are some jobs that I carry with me. I remember the people I served and think about them from to time, and hope that in whatever way I could, I made some kind of an impact on their lives.

    The other day, I happened to think about a customer I met a few years ago. We received a call came from the facilities manager of a residential community for adults 55 years and older. One of the residents living there had died and the manager wanted us to come in and clean up the unit. The deceased’s husband was living in a nursing and their daughter was flying in from Arizona.

    We immediately went to the job and began cleaning the affected areas, the master bedroom and bathroom. The carpet had been stained from body fluids and it was clear to see that the woman had been in distress for a while. When her daughter arrived, I could see the pain on her face and knew that she was completely overwhelmed by everything that she had to address. She had to tell her dad about her mother’s death, she had to make funeral arrangements, and she had to grieve. She assumed that she would have to pay for our services out of her mother’s estate. I explained to her that the job was most likely covered by her mother’s homeowner’s insurance but I could also see that calling the insurance agent was the last thing on her mind. I couldn’t minimize her emotional pain but I could step in and help a bit with handling the logistics of this clean up. And so I did. I told her to focus on taking care of her dad and making the arrangements for the funeral and I would handle everything concerning the clean up and insurance. I contacted the agent who filed the claim for damages and I went back to the unit later to meet with the adjuster. We even helped clean up the basement of the unit so it could be prepared for sale.

    Some would say I went the “extra mile” to help this customer but I disagree. This woman had just suffered the worst loss imaginable. I consider what I did to be a part of the human condition—to reach out and help a person in a time of need. I often think of this customer and hope that she is doing well; that she passed the nursing exams she was studying for when her mother died. Most of all I hope that, in some small way, I helped to ease her burden during a very difficult time.

    Things That Frost My Cookies

    9/11/2015 (Permalink)

    There are certain things in life that though they are minor and inconsequential—irk us. They are called pet peeves—little annoyances that get under our skin. On occasion, I will complain to whoever is nearby about the irritation I just experienced but most of the time I simply keep my thoughts to myself. For instance, if a friend or business associate commits one of these faux pas, I let it pass and don’t say anything. I have a good friend and an associate that I greatly admire; they both use the word irregardless. Not a big deal, but it's not a word. Heck, right now spell check is highlighting that word in red to let me know I may have a misspelling here. Ninety percent of the time when these two people use the word, they really intend to use the word irrespective or regardless. But they don’t. They use irregardless. Well regardless of your thoughts about this word, here are a few more of my pet peeves—you know, the things that make me cringe!

    People who misuse the words there, their, and they’re.

    People who misuse the words your and you’re. And even worse, people who abbreviate the word “your” by spelling it “ur” and the word “you,” by spelling it “u.” And trust me, it’s even worse when they commit that error in a cover letter when applying for a job—round file!

    People who drive slowly in the left lane.

    Drivers who are too busy chatting—or worse texting—on their phone to pay attention to the road.

    Drivers who stop at a yield sign rather than yield.

    Drivers who don’t understand that the vehicles in the rotary have the right of way!

    Drivers who cross over the parking lines, taking up two spaces in a parking lot —especially during the holiday season.

    People who over share—I really don’t need to know that you are going into the bathroom to pee. Please let me use my imagination.

    People who talk loudly on their cell phones in public places such as the grocery store. But, being the curious person I am, I will listen to the conversation and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it.

    People who leave dishes in the sink when the dishwasher is empty. And by people, I mean my husband and other members of the family.

    When my husband takes my electric toothbrush off of the charger to charge his—and neglects to tell me.

    Finding a coupon after it expires and it was actually a coupon I could use!

    People who mistake being busy for having bad time management skills—there is a difference.

    So there is my list of minor irritations. The great thing about pet peeves is that everybody has them, so please feel free to share yours!

    Six Easy Steps to a Clean Home

    9/4/2015 (Permalink)

    Cleaning Six Easy Steps to a Clean Home Clean and decluttered countertops is an instant facelift for any kitchen
    As the owner of a restoration company who spends more than 50 hours a week making sure other people’s homes are clean and healthy, I can certainly identify with the axiom, “the cobbler’s children have no shoes.” A bit of a neat freak by nature, I appreciate a clean home but as the owner of a company, I understand the temptation to look passed the messes, and opt for doing anything else during my “free time.” Over the years, I have had to come up with a plan that balances the need for a clean house with the need to relax and decompress. I offer the following six easy steps to getting a home ready to accept visitors—even a mother in law—without breaking too much of a sweat—or your back.

    Step 1 Kitchen Clean Up

    Begin with the kitchen. Since this is the most well used room in the house, it is the place where you want to focus your energy. Begin by putting all dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Wipe down countertop surfaces, sink, refrigerator handles and the front of the microwave with a multi-purpose cleaning agent. If it’s been more than a month, go ahead and hit the oven’s self-cleaning button. Bonus Tip: A clean oven cuts down on bad odors and reduces the potential for a smoke out situation, which occurs when previous spills become over heated, causing smoke to stream out of the oven, triggering the home’s smoke detectors.

    Step 2 Head to the bathroom

    Wipe down the toilet, counter, and sink area with a multi-purpose bathroom cleaner. Clear the counter of any items and put them back into drawers or closets. Hang fresh towels. The mirror takes the most abuse so be sure to wipe that down with a glass cleaner. Bonus Tip: sit down on the toilet and look around; what do you see in your sight line? If you can see it, so can your guests.

    Step 3 Dusting

    While most homes only need a good dusting once a month, it is a good habit to do some routine maintenance. Weekly cleaning of living spaces should include picking things up off the floor, throwing out old newspapers, organizing the magazines on the coffee table, fluffing pillows and couch cushions, folding throw blankets, and putting shoes away in the closet. When it is time to dust, use a good product, such as Pledge Multi-Purpose cleaner, and a micro fiber cloth, which works much better than paper towels. Bonus Tip: Always spray the product on the cloth and if you fold one micro fiber cloth into four parts, you will have eight clean sides to use throughout the house.

    Step 4 Go to Bed

    I have always been a fan of making beds—complete with hospital corners. I fondly remember my childhood ritual on Saturday mornings, listening to John Denver while making the bed in my pink-colored room. And though it has been many years since those days, it still gives me great joy to walk into my bedroom and see my bed dressed for success—the center of attention—with crisp sheets and matching comforter set. Making a bed is the single most important chore that can be done in the bedroom. It instantly makes the room look and feel cleaner and neater. Getting your children to agree with this philosophy, however, might prove a bit challenging. Once kids hit the teen years, you may have to pick and choose your battles and one of the easiest battles to give up is to allow them to have their own space, a room that they can decorate and keep however they want. For our family that space was their bedroom. From the pink walls in our daughter’s room—which I may have encouraged—to the ridiculous posters in our son’s room, we allowed them to do whatever they wanted—as long as it was legal—in those spaces. I just kept my opinions about their interior decorating choices to myself, smiled, and quietly shut the door.

    Step 5 Trash Talk

    It is amazing how much stuff a family can collect over time! It is a good idea to get rid of items that are no longer useful or relevant and taking up space in the basement or garage on an annual basis. For every day trash, however, consider putting three or four neatly organized plastic bins in the garage or a mudroom. It will make the chore of separating plastic, glass, paper, and cardboard that much easier. Bonus Tip: The more you recycle, the less trash you amass.

    #6 Suck It Up

    Borrowing from Nike’s tagline, “just do it!” The task of vacuuming is just one of those dreaded chores but it has the most significant impact. If you have done the routine maintenance suggested in Step 3, however, the work of vacuuming should be smooth sailing—straight down the halls, in and out of rooms. Start upstairs and work your down. Stick to the high traffic areas and leave areas under the beds and behind furniture for a much more thorough cleaning, when you enlist the help of the other family members living in the house!

    Tada! Go ahead and grab a magazine, put your feet up, and enjoy the feel of your clean home.

    Motivated By Love

    8/27/2015 (Permalink)

     Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time on the Cape or Islands knows there are a few local annual events that are not to be missed—the Scallop Festival in September moved recently to Falmouth from Buzzards Bay, the Daffodil Festival on Nantucket in April, and the New Balance Falmouth Road Race in August. (Cape Codders simply refer to it as the Falmouth Road Race.) 

    I've been seriously thinking about running in this famous local race since 2012. After moving to Pocasset last August, I started running as a new hobby or habit (whichever way you look at it). Despite record snowfalls and cold temperatures last winter, I did not miss my daily run. By early spring I had added a few more miles to my workout and before I knew it, I found myself training for the road race, a seven-mile route that travels from Woods Hole to Falmouth Heights. Before you ask … yes, there are hills involved!

    As the owner of SERVPRO of Upper Cape and the Islands, I am a member of several Chambers of Commerce and I see first hand the good work that these organizations do for the local business community. Before opening the doors to my own business, however, I worked for Community Connections, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping adults with disabilities. This position gave me insight into the thousands of nonprofit organizations spread out across the Cape and Islands. I firmly believe that at a certain point in our life we have an obligation to give back to our community so in 2014, I decided to volunteer my time and experience to a nonprofit. The big decision, however, was choosing one from among the thousands. As the mother of three children and grandmother to one granddaughter, Mackenzie, I chose to donate my time and talents to the Cape Cod Children’s Museum. I chose this non-profit among the many because of the wonderful educational opportunities it provides to young children and the outstanding activities available to families. I joined the board of directors in June 2014 and I soon found myself serving as the board’s President.

    Running in the Falmouth Road Race was a bit of a bucket list item for me, and the decision to run on behalf of the Children’s Museum was a “no brainer.” When I left the start line in Woods Hole, I was thrilled to be doing something so amazing for an organization I truly believe in. The first few miles I thought about my husband, Billy, and my kids.  I thought about my granddaughter and the experiences she will have at the museum and the things she will learn. And then I began to think about other children and young families who will benefit from the money that I was raising from running in this race…and those thoughts— combined with the high fives I received from all the kids along the seven mile route—spurred me on as the hot sun beat down on my back and humidity set in. Those thoughts kept me going as I hit the hills and the muscles in my legs tightened. From time to time, a cool breeze blew at my back and I was convinced that I could achieve this personal goal that would ultimately help so many. By the time I had completed mile 6, I was completely drained. As I approached the last hill in the heights—there when I needed it the most—were three young boys at the bottom, cheering me on, chanting, “You can do it!” Words of inspiration that I needed so desperately at that very moment pushed me up that monumental hill and across the finish line. With the beautiful views of the ocean just to my right, I thought of how lucky and blessed I am to be able to do this….to have the strength and stamina to complete this run and to have the friends, family, and support to raise $1,325 for the museum. 

    Life On Cape Cod

    8/21/2015 (Permalink)

    General Life On Cape Cod Welcome to my World!

    I consider myself lucky to have grown up on Cape Cod—Sandwich to be exact. I met my husband Bill at Sandwich High School and after we were married, we decided to raise our family in the same town where we grew up. It is familiar to us and we love being near the ocean. As true Cape Codders, we understand that there are certain expressions or activities that are unique to this particular region and to people who do not live here, “year round,” as we Cape Codders like to say, it can be a bit confusing or even perplexing. For instance, Cape Cod parents find it perfectly acceptable to teach and encourage our children to jump from bridges—well not the Bourne or Sagamore—but other local overpasses. In Sandwich, by the time children are 8 or 9, they have probably jumped from the Boardwalk Bridge at high tide. And by the time they have graduated high school, they have jumped from the overpass bridge at Scorton Creek. There are similar bridges in other towns on the Cape and Islands and we consider the activity of bridge jumping a rite of passage reserved for Cape and Island children.

    Here are a few other expressions and quirks unique to the Cape and Islands.

    A true Cape Codder is one who was born and raised on the Cape—even better if their parents and grandparents were as well. Anyone who was not born here is considered a wash ashore—even if they have lived here for 50 years or more!

    Local Cape Codders know the best routes to take on a Saturday and Sunday in the summer to avoid the MidCape Highway. I would tell you those routes but then I would probably have to kill you.  (Hint: we use the tunnel that travels under the Cape Cod Canal. You knew about that tunnel, right? )

    True Cape Codders wont go grocery shopping on Saturdays in the summer in fear of how busy they are. We will, however, stand in a line a mile long at our favorite ice cream shop.

    Local Cape Codders know the difference between Upper, Mid, and Lower Cape, and we are happy to extend our arm bent in the shape of the Cape to show you where we live.

    Islanders (those from Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket) refer to coming to the mainland as “going to America.” When Cape Codders travel over the bridge to the mainland, we simply refer to that as going “off Cape.”

    Cape Codders have no problem navigating rotaries or roundabouts as they are now called, which I suspect is a PR strategy to reduce the fear tourists have of these never ending traffic circles.

    Real Cape Codders live by the expression, On Cape Time, which means 15 to 20 minutes around the time I said I would be there. Cape casual is not just a clothing or interior design style—it’s a way of life.

    Flip flops and boat shoes are a perfectly acceptable office attire.

    Cape Codders wear shorts and sandals well into December and even January.

    For a true Cape Codder like me, whenever I see the Bourne or Sagamore bridge, I know I am indeed home.

    When Disaster Strikes

    8/13/2015 (Permalink)

    Water Damage When Disaster Strikes Pipes break! Washing machine hoses let go! Toilets overflow! It's a fact water damage happens and it is never at a convenient time!

    My mom used to say, "nothing good ever happens after midnight,"---which is how 12 AM became my curfew. In the clean up and restoration business, we know that no disaster ever happens at a convenient time. Mother Nature tends to send us some of her wildest storms this time of year----remember the downed trees and property damage from last week's rain storms? Though weather forecasters do a great job of letting us know when and where a storm will hit, there is little we can do to prevent the damage caused by a fallen tree, lightning strike, or floods. But we can at least be prepared when these types of things happen so that the process of restoring our home or business ----- can begin as quickly as possible. The best way to do that is through the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile.This plan is available for both residential and commercial businesses and contains all of the information, including contact names and numbers, that will be needed when disaster strikes. Having this plan in place not only saves the homeowner or business owner time and money, it mitigates the stress that comes with an emergency and that can be extremely valuable in the aftermath of a disaster. Unplanned events happen all the time and they often happen at the worst time possible. Toilets overflow just as guests arrive; the oven will go on the blink on Thanksgiving Day the year you are hosting. The best way to deal with any disaster or unplanned event is to be prepared with an Emergency READY Profile and to arm ourselves with a solid sense of humor.

    Trust Your Locally Owned Company with National Resources

    We are proud to serve our local communities. 

    Keeping Cool When The Dew Point Rises

    8/7/2015 (Permalink)

    Given this past winter's record setting snow totals, it's difficult to complain about the heat. But as the dog days of summer arrive, it can be hard not to gripe. Hazy, hot, and humid causes more than just bad hair days.... high dew point levels can affect the well-being of your house. Humidity can take its toll on the outside and inside of a home and homeowners need to take precautions to prevent or at least mitigate the damage that moisture can have on a home and its contents. A central heating and cooling system or a whole house dehumidifier system will go a long way in preventing the damage that moisture can cause. But even with these systems, mold spores can find their way into a home. While some mold around the shower is to be expected, when there are multiple colonies of the small black spots, it may be time to call in the experts. Besides being unsightly, these spores can cause health effects. While household bleach will temporarily eradicate the spores, it is not a permanent fix. The spores are a bit like a dandelion...you can get rid of the yellow flower but if the root system is there, it is going to come back. Having grown up on Cape Cod, owners of SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Islands Bill and Beth Russell understand that coastal communities like the Cape and Islands are especially prone to high humidity and their team of experts are well adept at battling this problem. The professionals at SERVPRO will not only eradicate the problem, the team can offer advice to prevent issues in the future. When the dew point rises and small black spots begin to show up in areas such as the bathroom, kitchen, or other areas of the home, call the experts at SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Islands to do the job right.

    Trust Your Locally Owned Company with National Resources

    We are proud to serve our local communities:

    • Sandwich, MA
    • Falmouth, MA
    • Bourne, MA
    • Sagamore Beach, MA
    • Buzzards Bay, MA
    • Martha’s Vineyard, MA
    • Nantucket, MA
    • Pocasset, MA
    • East Sandwich, MA
    • Vineyard Haven, MA

    Let's Talk...Water Damage In Your Home or Business.

    7/17/2015 (Permalink)

    When a storm leaves a home flooded, or a burst pipe causes serious issues in the house, getting water damage restoration services from a respected company should be considered a top priority. Unfortunately, this industry is not regulated, and there are people out there who pose as professionals or overstate their qualifications. Therefore, homeowners should be mindful of who they hire, as an untrained technician may do more harm than good or delay repairs, resulting in a higher degree of destruction. Before selecting a company to handle the job, keep in mind these points of emphasis:

    • Only choose certified professionals to perform water damage restoration services. Even though the industry is not regulated, technicians who have received certification have made the effort to get the best training possible, proving that they take their job seriously. Certification through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a sign that a professional has received the most up to date training and is knowledgeable in the latest techniques and technologies employed during repairs. The IICRC operates a Certified Firm registrant-only database on its site, making it easy to find a local, certified professional without trouble.
    • Do not select a technician based only on the price or an insurance company’s recommendation. When possible, speak to neighbors or friends who have had to hire a technician recently and try to get a recommendation from them. Insurance companies often select a restoration company based on price, and unusually low pricing suggests the company does not use modern drying or repair methods.
    • Choose a company that offers a range of water damage restoration services. The easiest way to determine the expertise of a firm is to see if they provide a full range of options for homeowners. Mold remediation, for example, is often needed given how quickly mold can set in. This is a standard field of knowledge that advanced technicians should possess. If a company doesn’t offer mold remediation, it may not be prepared for all job settings.
    • A company that is available 24/7 is a good sign. Stay away from any firms that are reluctant to start right away. In many cases modern equipment can enable near-complete drying in as little as 36 hours,  although many situations require longer. Also, a homeowner should not have to wait before repairs begin. Every minute counts when there is standing water present, and reputable professionals understand this. If a technician insists on waiting to begin the  remediation portion of the loss, they probably cannot be trusted to see the job through in a reasonable time frame.

    Using these guidelines, a homeowner should be able to find a technician that can be trusted and is equipped to do the job the right way. A storm or other disaster is hard enough to deal with, and a remediation firm should do everything in its power to make this difficult process easier. - Information provided above is from www.iicrc.org blog from June 20, 2014.

    Why Choose SERVPRO Upper Cape Cod & The Islands to handle your water damage?

    We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and The Islands is close by and ready to respond to your flood or water damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

    We are proud to serve our local communities:

    We are water damage specialists who get started promptly to get your property dry and back to pre-water-damage condition. Using advanced water removal and drying equipment and scientific drying principles to get your property dried quickly, we document the drying process to validate your home or business is ready. Learn about our water damage training and certificates.

    Got Mold? The Do's & Do Not's Of Mold Remediation.

    7/17/2015 (Permalink)

    When a home suffers a water damage event, a mold infestation can quickly arise and spread throughout a home in 48-72 hours. Because mold can produce allergens and irritants, you will want a professional that has training and experience to properly resolve the mold infestation. If you suspect that your Sandwich home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and The Islands can inspect, assess and remediate your property.

    Here are examples of some Do's and Do Not's Of Mold Remediation:

    • Try not to disturb mold colonies after you've located them. Air motion will send millions of viable spore into the air, cross-contaminating the rest of the room/structure.  In other words...no fans!
    • Trying to kill mold with bleach or other fungicides does not remove the toxins from the air. A dead spore will continue to give off toxins until it is removed.
    • Mold will grow as long as there is enough moisture and a food source. Mold spores can stay dormant for up to 10 years until the right conditions can stimulate the growth.
    • Do not think that mold won’t hurt you. Mold is an airborne pathogen and as such it can seriously harm your health
    • Sealing and painting over mold does not kill the mold or remove the toxins. It is only a short-term fix while poor health symptoms will continue.
    • Make sure to wear a respirator with P100 hepa filtration cartridges, protective eye wear, gloves, long sleeve shirts and long pants when handling and/or examining mold.  This is for your protection!!!
    • And finally, do call a certified mold removal and remediation professional like SERVPRO Upper Cape Cod & The Islands to get a professional assessment of your mold issues

    We specialize in water and mold damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have the training and expertise to safely handle any mold situation.

    • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
    • Water Damage Restoration Technician
    • Applied Structural Drying Technician

    We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod and The Islands is close by and ready to help with your mold-damaged property. We are proud to be an active member of the community and want to pitch in and help make our community the best it can be.

    We are proud to serve our local communities:

    Check Out The Summer Issue of Cape Cod Home Magazine

    7/8/2015 (Permalink)

    Living in a coastal area like the Cape or Islands may offer the ultimate lifestyle, but it also comes with a certain degree of responsibility for our fragile seaside eco-system. "People who live on the Cape or the Islands need to pay special attention to certain environmental conditions," says Beth Russell, president of SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands

    Check out the article on helpful tips on protecting your home throughout all seasons. 

    Sewage Backup in Nantucket, MA

    7/7/2015 (Permalink)

    Sewage backup in the crawlspace of this Nantucket, MA home had the homeowner calling SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Islands to fix the issue.

    Upon arrival our knowledgeable and trained professionals started immediately on cleaning and fixing the issue for this homeowner.  The owner stated that SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & the Islands did "another high quality, excellent job" for him.

    Frozen Pipe in Nantucket, MA

    7/7/2015 (Permalink)

    Winter conditions caused a pipe to burst in the ceiling of this Nantucket home.  This before picture shows the location of the busted pipe. 

    SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands was able to clean up the aftermath!  The owner was thrilled and said "Wonderful job!  Very professional, attentive and kind.  Thank you!"

    SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands Names Stephanie Decatur Sales & Marketing Manager

    6/29/2015 (Permalink)

    General SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands Names Stephanie Decatur Sales & Marketing Manager Stephanie Decatur, Marketing Manager of SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands.

    For Immediate Release

    Contact: Beth & Bill Russell

    Phone: 774-238-2999

    Email: Beth@SERVPROUpperCapeAndIslands.co 

    SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands Names Stephanie Decatur Sales & Marketing Manager

    Cape Cod, MA (June 2015)…SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands announces and welcomes Stephanie Decatur as sales and marketing manager.  Stephanie joined the team in June 2015 and will be covering Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

    In this new position, Stephanie will heading up the sales & marketing division of SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands non-emergency services such as duct cleaning, carpet & upholstery cleaning, post construction cleaning, clean outs and janitorial services along with and  promoting SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Profiles for business and property owners.  “Bill and I are excited to welcome Stephanie to our team!  She brings a diverse background and expertise with her.” says Beth Russell, co-owner of SERVPRO Upper Cape Cod & The Islands.

    Decatur brings over 15 years of sales, marketing and business experience to her new role.  Former positions include: director of sales, marketing & revenue management for Hostmark Hospitality Group, director of sales and marketing for Laquinta Inn Downtown Chattanooga, marketing and sales manager for Burroughs & Chapin/Broadway at the Beach and marketing, sales & convention services coordinator for Sands Resorts.  Stephanie’s qualifications consist of a strong sales background in the hospitality industry, business development, revenue management, and operations management.

    “I am thrilled to be part of the SERVPRO team!  My entire career has been spent in the marketing & sales industry and I look forward to continuing that tradition by providing our neighbors, friends and community with the best service solutions around!” comments, Decatur. 

    SERVPRO specializes in Residential and Commercial Restoration Services and is known nationwide as an industry leader. SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands employees are all trained and certified in all aspects of emergency and non-emergency services. 

    Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands Professionals help make it “Like it never even happened.” 

    Nominee SCORE: Martha's Vineyard's Small Business Owner of the Year Award

    4/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Community Nominee SCORE: Martha's Vineyard's Small Business Owner of the Year Award Bill and Beth Russell, Owners of SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands

    SCORE has nominated Beth and Bill Russell, the owners of SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands one of the finalist to be awarded the "Build a Better Mousetrap Award" to be held on May 15, 2014.

    SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands is a Fire & Water Cleanup and Restoration company that employees over 16 people year round. They provided their services throughout the Cape area, as well as, on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.

    "It is an honor and a privilege to be nominated by the Chamber of Commerce for this award", said Ms. Russell. Beth also commented, "it's not everyday that a small business like ours is recognized for all that we do! We appreciate the Chamber for thinking so highly of us."

    Senator Dan Wolf at the Old Yarmouth Inn where the annual breakfast will be held on May 15th will announce the winner of the award. Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, Rockland Trust, Cape & Islands Development and Edgartown National Bank are sponsoring the event.  

    Aim for Success on Cape Cod & Islands

    1/28/2014 (Permalink)

    Community Aim for Success on Cape Cod & Islands Cape Cod SCORE presented its 20th annual "Small Business Owner of the Year" award to Beth and Bill Russell, Owners of SERVPRO.

    SERVPRO of Upper Cape Cod & The Islands is proud to announce that we have been Nominated for Business of the Year for 2014!

    The ceremony is scheduled to take place on May 15, 2014 at SCORE's annual awards breakfast at a location to be named at a later date.

    We are speechless for the opportunity to represent the small business community! Thank you. 

    Named Board President of the Cape Cod Children's Museum in Mashpee

    7/12/2013 (Permalink)

    General Named Board President of the Cape Cod Children's Museum in Mashpee The Cape Cod Children's Museum is located in Mashpee

    As a Native Cape Codder, parent of three and soon-to-be Grandmother and local business owner I feel the responsibly to support The Cape Cod Children’s Museum located in Mashpee to thrive in the landscape of the community as a vital and strong Non-Profit for all residents of Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard to enjoy for years to come. And for these reasons, I accept the responsiblity and honor of becoming Board President.

    CapeFlyer is a BIG Success on Cape Cod

    6/12/2013 (Permalink)

    Community CapeFlyer is a BIG Success on Cape Cod CapeFlyer Train is helping people visit Cape Cod, MA.

    WOW what a weekend!

    Over 100 people on the CapeFLYER train and supporters were at the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber Office & Railroad Station this past Saturday to welcome the trial run. This pilot program will begin Memorial Day weekend with weekend trips to and from Boston. Present were Tom Cahir, Executive Director, of the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, initiated the program. A high spirited crowed welcomed the train with remarks made by Tom Cahir, U.S. Representative Bill Keating, Marie Oliva of the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber, Don Picard, Bourne Selectman, Sallie Riggs of BFDC, and others.

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