Recent Building Services Posts

Reconstruction Team Saves North Falmouth Customer's Holiday

1/29/2016 (Permalink)

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.”

Building Services Division Benefits Many

1/24/2016 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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.

SERVPRO's Reconstruction Services Team Offers Solutions to Cape Codders

12/30/2015 (Permalink)

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)

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.