SERVPRO Norwood/West Roxbury now offers Remodeling Services
It is hard to put into words what the reality is like when a homeowner or business owner experiences emotional devastation due to destruction of property by fire, invasive mold or flooding. Whether it happens to your home, the safe place that is the source of protection for your family or if it happens to the place that is the source of your livelihood, you are left feeling helpless and vulnerable. This unexpected trauma reaches you in stages, first you are in shock, second you attempt to make sense of the situation and think about possible solutions, and thirdly you call someone to assist you in the process of recovery. Making the right call to the right service that will see you through from start to finish without abandonment at any point in the process is critical to your future happiness and security. SERVPRO Norwood/West Roxburyis that service. If you call SERVPRO you will have made your first step toward complete recovery.
SERVPRO is now a one stop service, a company that offers restoration, renovation and complete rebuilding to reverse your devastating loss and to do so “Like it never even happened.” ®. When your needs are greatest, you want the most expertise full service company available locally and that is SERVPRO Norwood/West Roxbury.
There are additional benefits in choosing SERVPRO. One being that 95% of our work is dealing with renovations that entails insurance adjusters, insurance companies, and insurance agents.We welcome being the middleman because then we can ensure a smooth and continuous transition from the first moment of loss to the application of finishing touches. SERVPRO owner Dave Kurzontkowski is a Licensed Contractor, a former Insurance Agent, and an extremely knowledgeable restoration and renovation expert.
Our team of technicians, designers and construction crew are focused on every detail and will work with you, walking you through the entire collaborative process. Our quality craftsmanship and mastery will be displayed in your end product of a beautifully restored home or business so that you will feel “Like it never even happened.” ®
What To Do After A Flood
Floods can be caused by a variety of things and you will want to implement these practices to ensure the safety of you and your home, as well as having the best outcome with your insurance.
If you had to evacuate, make sure it is safe before you return. Check for any warping, cracked foundations, or other structural damage before entering the home. You may also want to speak to your utility companies to be sure it is safe from things such as electric or gas.
The water that is now in your home could be contaminated by sewage. It is recommended that you wear waist high waders or waterproof boots that come waist high. Also, dispose of any food that comes in contact with the water.
Before doing anything to your home after a flood be sure to take photos or videos of your home to prove the damage to your insurance company.
Contact your insurance provider
Make sure you have your insurance company's phone number in case you experience a flood. Let your insurance representative know the extent of the damage to your home and of any repairs you wish to make.
This is where SERVPRO steps in. We will help remove water from your house and afterwards mitigate mold so that there are no long lasting negative effect on you or your house.
Winterizing Your Car
Winter driving conditions can be hazardous due to factors such as snow and ice on the road. While it’s important that you are prepared for winter driving, it is also important that your car is up for the challenge. It is recommended that you winterize your car before the winter season to make sure your car can handle the winter road conditions.
Install winter wipers
These come equipped with rubber that keeps ice from collecting on the blades. Just be sure to remove them when spring rolls around. As winter wipers are heavier than regular ones, keeping them on all the time increases the risk of burning the motor out too soon.
Mount winter tires
If you live in a place that experiences extreme cold winter temperatures, it is recommended that you install winter tires when winterizing your car. When the temperature consistently hovers around or below freezing, the rubber compounds in non-winter tires harden, decreasing the tire’s ability to grip the road. Winter tires use special compounds engineered to resist hardening in cold temperatures, providing better traction.
You should definitely have snow tires installed with plenty of time to spare before extreme winter weather arrives. We say, if you can see your breath, it’s time to install winter tires.
Keep washer fluid full
When driving in snow and ice, you may use a lot of washer fluid in an effort to keep your windshield clean. In order to properly winterize your car, maintain a nearly full washer fluid reservoir and consider keeping a spare bottle or two in the trunk.
Tips for Winterizing Your Car | Bridgestone Tires
Here are some things to pack in your winter driving safety kit:
- Ice scraper
- Bag of sand and a shovel
- Cell phone
- First aid kit
- Extra antifreeze
- Flashlight and batteries
- Car tool kit
- Jumper cables
- Warm clothing: Extra jacket, hat, socks, boots
- Non-perishable food and beverage items
- Pack of matches
Keep the gas tank at least half full!
Why You Should Clean Your HVAC System Regularly
Why should you have your HVAC system cleaned?
NADCA addresses this question in a short simple answer: because they get dirty over time and they have the potential to contain large amounts of dust and particulates.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use. When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to improved cost.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is one concern that building managers and building inhabitants have when they decide to investigate HVAC system. Through normal occupation in a building, we generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in the ductwork.
While a contaminated HVAC system doesn't necessarily mean unhealthy air, the situation may be contributing to larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.
Understanding Your Commercial Insurance Policy
According to the Insurance Information Institute, for small businesses without specialized risks, a Business Owners Policy—or BOP—may offer the basic property and liability coverage that you need. But if your company is growing in size and complexity—or you face specialized risks due to the nature of your business—you may want to consider purchasing a Commercial Package Policy, or CPP for short.
Customized insurance under one policy
Like a BOP, a CPP enables you to bundle various types of coverage within a single policy. However, while a BOP has limitations—it is only available for certain types of smaller businesses and covers only a few types of risk—Commercial Package Policies are available for a wide range of businesses, and can be better customized to the specific needs of your business. Most CPPs begin with:
- Property insurance- Covers damage or destruction of buildings, equipment, inventory and more.
- General liability insurance- Covers costs if someone is injured at your business or from using your product or service.
From there, you can add a range of coverages to your CPP, including:
- Business income insurance- Also known as business interruption insurance, this replaces lost revenues and covers extra expenses in the event that your business has to shut down or relocate due to fire, wind damage or other covered losses.
- Business vehicle (or fleet) insurance- Covers vehicles owned and used by your business.
- Business crime insurance- Covers losses from burglary, computer fraud, employee dishonesty and other business crimes.
- Commercial umbrella liability- Increases and broadens liability coverage, filling in gaps left by other coverages.
- Electronic data processing coverage- Covers costs associated with the loss or damage of electronic data processing media or equipment.
- Equipment breakdown—Also known as boiler and machinery insurance, this covers losses from the malfunction of heating, electrical, air conditioning, telephone systems and other equipment.
- Employment practices liability—Covers costs tied to disputes with employees over termination, discrimination, sexual harassment and other employment issues.
- Inland marine—Covers the transport of goods over water and land, providing comprehensive protection for assets that are moveable or mobile in nature, while in transit—such as from a warehouse to a store—or in storage.
- Pollution liability—Covers costs related to pollution, including clean-up and personal injury.
A range of other types of insurance—covering professional liability, supply chain risk, terrorism, farming or ranching losses, and more—can also be included in a CPP.
What a CPP doesn’t cover
A CPP can provide your business with coverage against a broad range of risks. That said, it’s important to recognize that your CPP will not include:
- Directors and Officers (D&O) liability
- Health and disability
- Life insurance
- Workers compensation
These coverages must be purchased separately; discuss your additional insurance needs with your insurance professional.
Preventing Dryer Fires
Very few people realize the danger of clothes dryer fires. However, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an estimated annual 15,500 fires, 10 deaths and 10 injuries due to clothes dryer fires. Several hundred people a year are also subjected to carbon monoxide poisoning from improper dryer vent setups. The financial costs come to nearly $100,000,000 per year. In some cases faulty appliances are to blame, but many fires can be prevented with proper dryer venting. Lint accumulation and reduced airflow feed on each other to provide conditions ripe for a fire. Lint is a highly combustible material, which, interestingly enough, is one of the ingredients in a recipe for home-made fire starters. A number of dryer vent problems contribute to this.
Here are several important steps you can take to keep this from happening to you
Clean your lint screen.Always clean your lint screen right before you push the start button for EVERY LOAD! Even if there is just a small amount of lint on the screen, clean it anyway. This is a good habit to get into.
Check your vent hose.Make sure your vent hose is in good shape. If you have the white plastic vent hose, replace it now! It is not safe and has been outlawed. Use the aluminum type vent hose and make sure the length is as short as possible and not crushed or kinked.
Clean your vent line regularly.It's very important that the vent line (from the wall behind the dryer to the outside flap) is not restricted or clogged up with lint. This greatly increases your chance of a dryer fire. If you are unable to clean out this line yourself, call a professional. Many Chimney Sweep companies offer this service.
Keep the area around the dryer clean.In the event that your dryer does have a lint fire, don't give it more fuel to destroy your home. Make sure there are no articles of clothing, boxes, cleaning supplies, or anything else behind or around the dryer. You should also keep things off the top of the dryer.
Clean the lint out of the inside of the dryer regularly.Your dryer needs to be opened up and vacuumed out periodically. Most dryers today are not easily accessible for the homeowner. Unless you know how to take your dryer apart and put it back together, you'll need a technician to do this. Any time you have your dryer repaired, ask the technician to vacuum it out for you. He should be doing this anyway as part of the service.
Make sure your gas line is in good shape.If you have a gas dryer you should check your gas line. If it looks old or questionable, you should replace it. Make sure when you push your dryer back into position, you don't kink the line.
How To Prevent An Attic Fire
Did you know that more than 40% of attic fires are the result of electrical malfunctions?
So how do we help prevent an attic fire? Here are three things firefighters suggest you hire have a professional to do:
- Have your chimney inspected by a professional who will check the interior and exterior of the chimney, including the part running through the attic
- Check the wiring in your attic, preferably by an electrician, looking for signs of damage, cracked insulation (wire sheathing), and exposed or disconnected wires
- Look for signs of burning and charring in the insulation and wood
A common mistake is that everybody typically plugs in their space heaters to help supplement their heat. And then, they'll put them on a long extension cord so that they are able to reach areas with less heat. So, the longer the extension cord is, the more ampage it will draw on the circuit.
Another common fire hazard is that homeowners choose voltage incandescent light bulbs in ceiling fixtures that is a higher voltage than required is also afire hazard. That heat that is trapped within the light fixture goes straight up into the attic and in the wires and essentially cook the wires, starting a fire.
Should I Get Flood Insurance
Following a disaster most homeowners ask themselves if they should have purchased flood insurance. Well, according to FEMA, Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood. A flood is most often called an excluded peril, meaning it’s not covered. You should consider flood insurance even if you’re not required to purchase it or if you live outside a high-risk flood zone, called a Special Flood Hazard Area.
Flood zones are areas where there is a higher statistical probability of a flood occurring, but that doesn’t mean floods don’t occur elsewhere. In fact, in Texas over the last five years, a number of floods exceeded the statistical probability, putting more homes and properties in harm’s way than were expected.
Flood insurance can protect you from the catastrophic financial impact of flooding. Just a few inches of water can mean thousands of dollars of loss to your home or business. As long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as a homeowner or business owner you can get building and contents coverage included in your NFIP policy. Renters can get coverage for contents only. Policies issued by the NFIP pay even if a federal disaster is not declared.
Where can I buy flood insurance?
When should I buy a policy?
As soon as possible. FEMA urges you to buy flood insurance before a flood event occurs. NFIP cannot pay a claim if you don’t have a policy in effect when damage occurs. An insurance policy from NFIP becomes effective 30 days after you buy it, unless the purchase is associated with the origination, renewal or extension of a federally backed loan on property in a high-risk area.
I am not in a flood hazard area, but I’d like to purchase flood insurance. Is this possible?
Yes, as long as your community participates in NFIP. You are eligible to purchase a flood policy with the same coverage you would receive if you lived in a high-risk area. A Preferred Risk Policy (a lower-cost flood insurance policy) provides both building and contents coverage for properties in moderate-to-low risk areas for one price.
Can I get flood insurance if I'm renting a property?
Yes. If you live in a community that participates in NFIP and you are a renter, you can get flood insurance to cover the contents of your home, apartment or business at a rented location.
After A Flood
After the waters have receded, the rainstorm has passed mold will start to set in and your sense of smell will be the first to detect it. You will then need to contact SERVPRO immediately to prevent further damage. A guide on the U.S. EPA website outlines the hazards of mold:
Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air …There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
Mold cannot be seen floating in the air, but you won’t have any trouble sniffing out its presence. It’s an odor that will initially tickle your sinuses and cause your eyes to water, but you shouldn’t keep inhaling.
Undoing the damage
It takes a professional company, like SERVPRO of Framingham to perform mold damage restoration properly following specific procedures . They will begin by reducing the vicinity’s moisture levels because that’s what mold thrives on. They will also need to check your home’s HVAC system to see if it was compromised. Visible mold on walls and ceilings will need to be scrubbed off with cleaning solution.
While water damage restoration and mold remediation will rid the house of contaminants, some areas affected by mold cannot be restored to their original appearance. Some items may need to be discarded because they are beyond repair and could serve as a hiding place for mold
Absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. Mold can grow on or fill in the empty spaces and crevices of porous materials.
Regardless of the weather, try to keep the humidity in your house low using dehumidifier devices or products. It is also beneficial to maintain your HVAC system to ensure the temperature doesn’t produce excessive condensation. Between these tips and professionals from
SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury mold will be hard-pressed to find a way into your home.
What You Need To Know About Ice Dams
What is an ice dam?
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. The image included in this blog entry shows a cross section of a home with an ice dam.
What causes ice dams?
There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover, and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof's outside surface must be above 32°F while lower surfaces are below 32°F. For a portion of the roof to be below 32°F, outside temperatures must also be below 32°F. When we say temperatures above or below 32°F, we are talking about average temperature over sustained periods of time.
The snow on a roof surface that is above 32°F will melt. As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32°F and freezes. Voila! - an ice dam.
The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that are on the average below 32°F. So the water above backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid. This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering and flows into the attic space. From the attic it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling finish.
Remember: Nonuniform roof surface temperatures lead to ice dams.