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Warm Weather Alert

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

WARM WEATHER ADVISORY

The deep freeze is over and the temperature outside is on the rise. On Friday we will see temperatures in the mid 50's here in the Greater Boston Area! Great news, right? Wrong! With temperatures rising so fast that means that all of the snow and ice that has accumulated over the past two weeks will melt equally as fast. As water tables rise the excess water will have no place to go causing basements to flood. If ice dams have formed on your roof, as the snow melts, water will back up behind the dam and may find cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering. Before you know it, water is wreaking havoc in your home.

If disaster strikes your home or commercial property call our Disaster Recovery Team. We will make it Like it never even happened.

Norwood - 781-769-9125
West Roxbury - 617-323-367

Weather Alert

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Winter Weather Alert

The temperatures outside in New England are devastating. Now it looks like we may add snow and strong winds to the mix! The Eastern Seaboard will likely experience 4-8 inches of snow and strong winds this Thursday (Jan 4, 2018) the magnitude of both those impacts is still a bit uncertain at this time. 

Timing

Thursday-Thursday night

  • The powerful storm will be centered well off the Northeast coast. Given its large circulation and strong intensity, the low will likely produce at least some snowfall, possibly heavy, in parts of the Northeast region.
  • Snowfall may cover much of New England during the day.
  • Due to the strong winds this will be a fast moving storm. The peak snowfall intensity will likely only last for about 6 hours, between noon and 6 p.m.
  • Increasing winds are likely along much of the Northeast coast. Wind gusts stronger than 50 mph are possible along the immediate coasts of New England Thursday night.

Snow Potential

  • The best chance for significant accumulating snow along the U.S. coast is in eastern New England. This snow may be heavy and accompanied by strong winds.
  • Again, exact amounts will depend on the track of the low in relation to the East Coast.
  • Some locations may experience heavy snow that may change to freezing rain in Thursday night into Friday.

Preventing And Dealing With Ice Dams

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

When ice dams form on your home or business property there are actions to be taken.

Immediate action:

  • Remove snow from the roof. This eliminates one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam. A "roof rake" and push broom can be used to remove snow, but may damage the roofing materials. Be sure to use a “roof rake” with wheels to minimize any potential damage.
  • In an emergency situation where water is flowing into the house structure, making channels through the ice dam allows the water behind the dam to drain off the roof. Hosing with tap water on a warm day will do this job. Work upward from the lower edge of the dam. The channel will become ineffective within days and is only a temporary solution to ice dam damage.

Long-term action:

  • First, make the ceiling air tight so no warm, moist air can flow from the house into the attic space.
  • After sealing air leakage paths between the house and attic space, consider increasing the ceiling/roof insulation to cut down on heat loss by conduction.

IMPORTANT: Both of these actions will increase the snow load that your roof has to carry because it will no longer melt. Can your roof carry the additional load? If it is built to current codes, there should not be a structural problem. Roofs, like the rest of the home, should have been designed to withstand expected snow loads. The plans for your home may be on file at your local building inspection office. A professional engineer should be able to evaluate the structure of your home and answer your questions about the strength of your roof.

  • Natural roof ventilation can help maintain uniform roof temperatures, but if the long-term actions described above are done effectively, then only small amounts of roof ventilation are needed to maintain uniform roof surface temperatures. If heat transfer has been reduced substantially, then snow will build up on the roof and cover natural roof ventilation systems, reducing attic ventilation rates. Natural attic ventilation systems are needed to dry the attic space and remove heat buildup during the summer.

Preventing ice dams in new homes

The proper new construction practices to prevent ice dams begin with following or exceeding the state code requirements for ceiling/roof insulation levels.

The second absolutely necessary practice is to construct a continuous, 100% effective air barrier through the ceiling. There should not be any air leakage from the house into the attic space!

Unfortunately, custom design choices like recessed lights, skylights, complicated roof designs, and heating ducts in the attic will increase the risk of ice dam formation.

Why Are Frozen Pipes Dangerous?

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

Are you a Landlord? The winter months bring certain property maintenance concerns that all landlords need to be aware of. When the temperatures drop, one major issue that could come up is a frozen water pipe. I will discuss why frozen pipes are so dangerous.

Why Are Frozen Pipes Dangerous?

Frozen pipes are a problem for a couple of reasons.

They can create an inconvenience but, more seriously, can cause major damage to your property.

  • Lack of Running Water– The most obvious danger of a frozen pipe is the inability to access running water. This can interfere with your tenant’s ability to do everyday tasks such as washing the dishes or taking a shower. It is a landlord’s responsibility to make sure his or her tenants have running water.
     
  • Potential to Burst- The second problem that can occur when a pipe freezes is that the pipe actually bursts. Once the actual water in the pipe freezes, pressure is created between the closed faucet and the blockage that can build up to a point that causes the pipe to explode.

Pipes That Are Vulnerable to Freezing

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

Are you a Landlord? The winter months bring certain property maintenance concerns that all landlords need to be aware of. When the temperatures drop, one major issue that could come up is a frozen water pipe. I will discuss the types of pipes that are most vulnerable to freezing.

Pipes That Are Vulnerable to Freezing

There are some pipes that are more vulnerable to freezing than others: 

  • Exterior Walls- Water pipes that are located along the exterior walls of a home can be vulnerable to freezing. This is because they may not have the adequate amount of insulation protecting them from the exterior temperatures.
     
  • Attics and Basements- Pipes that are located in attics or in basements may also have a greater tendency to freeze. These pipes may not receive the same amount of heat as the rest of the property. If these areas are not used as living space, they also may not be properly insulated.

4 Signs of Frozen Pipes

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

Are you a Landlord? The winter months bring certain property maintenance concerns that all landlords need to be aware of. When the temperatures drop, one major issue that could come up is a frozen water pipe. I will provide;

4 Signs of Frozen Pipes

There are a few clues which can help you determine if you have frozen pipes at your property:

  • The Temperature Is Right- Pipes will not freeze if it is not cold enough outside for them to do so. Water does not freeze when it is 60 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and neither do pipes. When the temperature falls to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, you should begin to take precautions to prevent vulnerable pipes from freezing.
     
  • There Is Frost on the Pipe- For pipes that can actively be seen, such as those under sinks, you may be able to see frost that has accumulated on the exterior of the pipe. This can serve as a warning sign that the pipe is frozen before you ever try to turn on the faucet.
     
  • No Water Is Coming Out of the Faucet-  Is there a lack of running water. If you or a tenant turn on a kitchen or bathroom faucet and only a slight trickle of water or no water at all comes out, the water pipe leading to the faucet may be frozen.
  • Strange Smells- Is there an odd smell coming from a faucet or drain. If the pipe is partially or completely blocked, the only way the odor can escape is back up in the direction of your property.

Holiday Fire Hazard - Tree

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

Christmas Trees are a festive sign of the holiday season. They can also be a fire hazard. Cut trees need to be properly watered. Even then, eventually it will dry out. Most tree fires happen after Christmas, once the tree has dried out. Often they start overnight when trees are left lit. 

Put the tree out promptly for proper disposal or recycling after the holidays to reduce the risk for fire. Leaving it up much past Christmas or New Year’s increases the risk of a fire.

Never place any tree near a heat source such as a fireplace, furnace or space heater.

Unplug lights when leaving the house or going to sleep. Be especially careful if using lights that heat up — and don’t put them near heat sources, curtains or other flammable materials. 

Holiday Fire Hazard - Electrical

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

The more holiday lights the better, right? Well, that may not always be the case around your home. Safety must take the priority over dazzling, when it comes to stringing up lights or other electrical decorations. Electrical safety is especially important in older homes. Why? Most likely the electrical wiring and/or circuit breaker are not up to today's codes. Is the electrical in your home to code?

Make sure you buy holiday lights that have been tested for safety by an independent laboratory -check for a label.

Follow directions for safety,

  • Don’t hang indoor lights outside – or vice versa
  • Don’t plug too many items into an electrical socket.
  • Don’t string together more than 3 strands of lights, Gaffrey said.
  • Don’t connect LED lights and non-LED light strands.

Damaged holiday lights

Besides untangling your light sets, inspect them to make sure they are in good condition. This means checking for exposed wires or shattered bulbs and sockets since they pose a fire hazard.

In most cases, light sets should be replaced unless it is just a bulb that needs changing. Sometimes pets can chew on wires, so you may need to inspect often. If you need to buy new lights, LED lights tend to be cooler and significantly reduce the risk of fire. LED lights are also shatterproof and shock resistant.

Step One - Water In Your Basement

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

Basement flooding is a nightmare for any homeowner. Aside from making your basement unusable, a basement flood can ruin your personal belongings and create a serious health and safety hazard.

If you have water in your basement the very first thing that you need to do (after stopping the flow of water of course) is you need to find out what caused the flood and how can you stop it from happening again?

Common causes of basement flooding

All basements are prone to flooding and there can be several causes behind the water in your basement. Below are some of the most common causes of a flooded basement:

Any basement can flood. Waterproofing your basement now can protect from future flooding.

Plumbing leaks

This could be a burst or leaking pipe, a leaking waste line, a broken supply hose for your washing machine, or a leaking water tank or water heater.

Leaky basement windows

If your window wells fill with water (from a flooded yard or clogged gutters), don’t be surprised if water leaks into the basement through and around the windows.

Leaky basement foundation

This is by far the most common cause of basement flooding. Excessive amounts of rain, poor yard drainage and sewer backups are common culprits behind a leaky foundation. Fortunately, it’s a problem that Basement Systems can solve by installing a warrantied, industry-leading waterproofing system. 

4-Step Response To Basement Flooding

12/13/2017 (Permalink)

We recommend following these steps to return your home to its pre-flood condition and protect the space against future flooding.

Step 1: Safety First

Don't risk serious injury if your basement floods. A flooded basement can be a serious health and safety risk.

  • If possible avoid entering the basement. It is  best to stay out of the basement until the water is pumped out. Standing water in your basement can contain harmful bacteria. Exposure to these bacterias can cause health issues. Additionally, electrical fixtures or wiring may have been compromised. A person entering such an area runs the risk of electrical shock or possibly electrocution!
  • Remove water quickly. Simply shutting off the water source is not enough. Standing water and elevated levels of humidity will continue to cause damage to a structure and its contents.

Step 2: Find The Root Cause

If the issue that caused the water damage is not identified and properly remediated the damage will reoccur. No amount of remediation will prevent a recurrence if the root cause remains.

Step 3: Remove Water Damaged Items/Building Materials

Is your basement empty? Is it a finished basement? Building materials, furniture and flooring will all absorb moisture and may be damaged beyond repair. In such instances those items/materials should be removed. 

Step 4: Install A Waterproofing System

Every basement is unique. This step must be performed by a professional. Contact our Disaster Recovery Team to schedule a consultation.