Mother Nature Sets Off "Fireworks"
The annual celebrations of America's Independence Day has end and but Mother Nature wasn't ready to stop the party. Less than 48 hours later, severe thunderstorms rolled through Massachusetts, causing flooding, damage, and power outages.
The thunderstorms joltedthe region that evening and lighting was the direct cause of a house fire in Marlborough, striking their basement.
Luckily,the homeowners were awake and immediately aware of what happened and were able get help and get to safety.
There was also a substantial amount of rainfall and floodingin the Boston area, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). and finally, the thunderstorms subsided at around 9:45 p.m.
Mother Nature iscapricious and we never know when an emergency situation will arise or in this case, strike. But SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury is there for you 24 hours/7 days a week. No job is too big or too small all that matters is we quickly get the job done.
#1. Opt for Flood Insurance
Hurricane Season has sprung! And it is also time for you to spring for Flood Insurance. You’ll be happy to make this wise investment, as we know that Flood Insurance is just a drop in the bucket compared to the money spent on Flood Damage.
Despite the size of your business or property and more so of where it is located, you could still be vulnerable to major water damage. Here are three quick tips for business and property owners to mitigate their risk.
Say Yes to Flood Insurance. More than 20% of flood claims occur outside the high-risk flood zones, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Understand the policy and your risks
Once you decide to obtain flood insurance, it’s important to understand what exactly you’re signing up for. As a first step, taking a look at the policy and understand what is covered and what is not.
Call SERVPRO of Norwood / West Roxbury. The longer you wait, the more likely there will be damage.
And certainly, don’t wait for insurance adjusters to arrive. Call SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We’ll take the proper and immediate action to restore your property “Like it never even happened.”
Common Sump Pump Problems
Sometimes a single sump pump just isn’t enough to handle a wet basement "event". The pump might not be reliable enough or powerful enough to handle the volume of water pouring in, especially during heavy rains. The quality of your sump pump matters, too: a cheap, plastic model is more likely to burn out or fail to keep up when it matters most.
> Upgrade your sump pump and add a battery backup sump pump. In rare cases, you might need more than one sump pump, installed in different corners of the basement.
If you're away from home and your sump pump loses power, your basement is vulnerable. The same storm that causes your basement to flood can also knock down power lines
> Back up! We recommend a high-capacity, battery-operated backup sump pump.
No water in the sump pump is a classic sign of an improperly installed pump or a pump that is not linked to a drainage system.
> Get your drainage system inspected and fixed. If there is no drainage system, have one installed.
If your sump doesn't have a lid - something we see every day in basements across the nation - it will get clogged and dirty over time and either slow down or stop entirely.
> Make sure your next one is covered with an airtight sealed lid that prevents debris.
Blackstone Acquires Majority Stake in SERVPRO
Blackstone Group (BX +1.8%) emerges as the winner in an auction for SERVPRO Industries, and is close to acquiring the company for more than $1B including debt, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
SERVPRO, of Gallatin, Tenn., operates a network of more than 1,700 franchisees that specialize in fire, water, mold and other cleanup services for residential and commercial customers. The closely held company was founded in 1967 by Doris Isaacson and her late husband, Ted Isaacson, as a painting business and is currently run by their eldest child, Susan Steen.
Blackstone's long-dated private-equity fund, which can hold companies for up to 20 years, will execute the acquisition of the closely held company, which operates more than 1,700 franchisees specializing in fire, water, mold, and other cleaning services for residential and commercial companies.
Part of the rationale behind the deal is that Blackstone, which owns 232m square feet of office space and 300,000 residential units and homes, can become a major SERVPRO customer.
Coastal Flooding On The Rise
Many homeowners dream of waterfront property, the smell of salty sea air and to be greeted by the ocean when the wake up every morning. As idyllic as it may sound there is another side to living on the coast. During 2018 coastal communities experienced record number of high tide flooding. Sidewalks and streets were frequently flooded mainly due to El Nino conditions. The projected increase in high tide flooding in 2018 may be as much as 60 percent higher across U.S. coastlines as compared to typical flooding about 20 years ago, according to NOAA scientists. These predictions are part of NOAA’s 2017 State of High Tide Flooding and 2018 Outlook, a report produced by NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services every year since 2014.
The report finds that during the 2017 meteorological year (May 2017-April 2018), the U.S. average number of high tide flooding days was the highest measured at 98 NOAA tide gauges. More than a quarter of the coastal locations tied or broke their individual records for high tide flood days.
The top five cities that saw the highest number of flood days across the U.S. and broke records include Boston; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Sandy Hook, New Jersey; Sabine Pass, Texas; and Galveston, Texas. These cities faced the brunt of an active nor’easter and hurricane seasons and sea level rise, which has made these and other less extreme events more impactful.
SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury specializes in Water Remediation, if you ever experience a flood or water damage call us 24/7 (781) 769-9125
Lighting Storm Rolls Through Massachusetts
As a business owner, you must protect your property. You likely have insurance that covers you in case of theft, fire or other serious property damage, but not all policies cover flood damage. Even if you don't live in an area prone to flooding, one burst pipe is all it takes to create a big problem.
Have Digital Backups of Any Paper Files
No matter how well you prepare, your paper files are at risk if storm damage is a possibility. If you don't already have digital copies of your important paperwork, now is the time to create these backups. Doing so can save you days' worth of headaches during the restoration process.
- Property deeds
- Insurance policies
- Inventory lists
- Employee information
- Company handbooks and policies
- Client or customer information
Create Sandbags to Protect Your Building
Placing sandbags at the doors and windows can protect your property from up to two feet of storm water. After filling each bag with sand, fold the top over and place the bag with the folded top down. Create one layer at a time, and limit their placement to three layers, unless you intend to create a pyramid or are leaning the bags against doors and windows. Remember, sandbags are a temporary solution and aren't likely to protect the building from larger floods.
Move What You Can
Consider your furniture and whether you have higher ground in your building. If you have a second story, move as much furniture and equipment to the higher floor as possible. If you have enough notice and a second property that is on higher ground, consider moving furniture and equipment to a new building entirely.
While you aren't likely to get away from flooding with no damage at all, following these steps will help you protect much of your property. Less time spent cleaning up means more time getting back into the swing of doing business.
Tornadoes Strike Even in Massachusetts
National Weather Service is warning of intense weather headed to Massachusetts,which could mean severe thunderstorms or even tornadoes.
In Boston, temperatures are expected to climbas high as the mid-80s on afternoon in late May and as a storm system makes its way across the state, the highest risk of extreme weather is expected to kick in at around 5 or 6 p.m., according to NWS meteorologist Lenore Correia. Short-lived but powerful storms, isolated thunderstorms and powerful winds, and hail sized up to an inch or two inches are more likely out in the west and northwestern parts of the state, the Weather Service says, but still possible closer to the city. The conditions may also be right for tornadoes to form.
“There’s a cold front approaching the area and we’re going to have a storm that will form along that boundary,”Correia says. “Really warm temperatures will help that instability.”
She says that the risk of tornadoes remains pretty remote, but it’s worth being alert regardless, especially if you commute by car or haveplans to be outside.
Home Ignition Zones and Wildfires
Last year was a devastating year for wildfires as it destroyed thousands of homes of the animals that inhabit the forest and the homes of celebrities that overlook such beauty, alike. As a growing number of people living in these at-risk areas, more than 25,000 structures were destroyed, including 18,137 residences and 229 commercial structures in 2018 alone. California accounted for the highest number of structures lost in one state due to the number of significant fires, including the Mendocino Complex, Carr, Camp and Woolsey fires.
According to National Fire Protection Association, home destruction vs. home survival in wildfires point to embers and small flames as the main way that the majority of homes ignite in wildfires.Embers are burning pieces of airborne wood and/or vegetation that can be carried more than a mile through the wind can cause spot fires and ignite homes, debris and other objects.
There are methods for homeowners to prepare their homes to withstand ember attacks and minimize the likelihood of flames or surface fire touching the home or any attachments. Experiments, models and post-fire studies have shown homes ignite due to the condition of the home and everything around it, up to 200’ from the foundation. This is called the Home Ignition Zone (HIZ). Within these three zones, Immediate Zone, Intermediate Zone, and Extended Zone, you the homeowner have the expectation to remove dead plant and tree materials, keep grass mowed to a height of 4”, clean roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris and pine needles to name just a few! For more information please go to: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Wildfire/Firewise-USA/Online-learning-opportunities/Online-courses
Safety in the Home
Keep your family safe from fire. Be aware of the hazards in your home. And, be sure to have an escape plan. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes
Burn awareness Most “fire-related injuries” are burns. Make sure kids stay more than 3 feet away from the stove. Most “fire-related injuries” are burns. In fact, approximately every 60 seconds someone in the U.S. sustains a burn injury serious enough to require treatment.*
Dryers and washing machines The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires is failure to clean them.
- Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer and dryer combinations accounted for 5%.
- The leading factor contributing to the ignition of home fires involving clothes dryers was failure to clean, accounting for one-third (33%) of dryer fires.
- A mechanical or electrical failure or malfunction was involved in the vast majority of home fires involving washing machines.
- Fires involving clothes dryers usually started with the ignition of something that was being dried or was a byproduct (such as lint) of drying, while washing machine fires usually involved the ignition of some part of the appliance.
Escape planning Learn the steps to create and practice a home fire escape plan. Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.
Gasoline & propane safety Always handle gasoline in the home or propane-powered equipment cautiously. Handle any propane-powered equipment cautiously and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Cylinder tanks for equipment such as stoves and ovens must be located outside of the home.
- Keep gasoline out of children's sight and reach. Children should never handle gasoline.
- If fire does start while handling gasoline, do not attempt to extinguish the fire or stop the flow of gasoline. Leave the area immediately, and call for help.
- Do not use or store gasoline near possible ignition sources (i.e., electrical devices, oil- or gas-fired appliances, or any other device that contains a pilot flame or a spark).
Hoarding and fire safety Many fire departments are experiencing serious fires, injuries, and deaths as the result of compulsive hoarding behavior. The excessive accumulation of materials in homes poses a significant threat to firefighters fighting fires and responding to other emergencies in these homes and to residents and neighbors.
Maintaining Your Commercial Property
With yearly returns falling between 6-12% of purchase price, commercial property is one of the best investments available today. An investment that profitable commands an extremely high time commitment. Moreover, if you own multiple properties, the time it takes to maintain all of those properties is all but impossible for one person to handle alone. At best, it’s like adding an additional full-time job to your current list of time commitments. At worst, it will completely overrun your life. Here’s some of the best and most time-effective ways to maintain the value of your commercial property.
1: Keep Your Tenants Happy
Tenants are the single most important aspect of your commercial property investment. A property without tenants is always doomed to lose money. It stands to reason, then, that keeping your tenants happy is the first step towards a successful investment.
2: Keep the Building Safe
Keep communication channels with your tenants open. If tenants always know that they can get a hold of you when something goes wrong, they will be more confident doing business with you.
3:Keep It Clean
Nothing will ruin someone’s opinion of a property faster than filth and clutter. Your property is likely the face of your tenants’ businesses. If it’s messy and poorly maintained, their clients will become dissatisfied, which will ultimately fall back on you.
4: Maintain and Upgrade Your Property
Commercial property maintenance involves more than just vacuuming floors and wiping down windows. In fact, there are hundreds of things that you must do to keep a building maintained: check the roof for leaks, ensure that all fire and emergency equipment is functional and up to code, keep the air intake clean, and much more.
5: Invest in Efficiency
Making your building more green both maintains and increases its value. The gold standard for green buildings today comes from LEED certification. LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.” Buildings that are LEED certified demonstrate more environmental consciousness and energy efficiency than normal buildings.