Keep Fires Out Of The Festivities
House fire caused by fireworks.
An Independence Day tradition always includes fireworks painting the sky on the evening of the 4th of July and all throughout the summer. Sadly as the sparklers shoot upward so do injuries, fires and the resulting home insurance claims. Even though your basic homeowners' insurance covers fires, your policy may likely cover fires caused by fireworks your family sets off, especially in states where they are deemed illegal which includes our great state of Massachusetts.
July 4th is the one day of the year with the largest number of fires reported according to the National Fire Protection Association. More than half of these fires are caused by people shooting off rockets in their own backyard. On average, fireworks cause over 18,500 fires a year, including 1300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside fires with an average of $43 million in direct property damage according to the Consumer Product Safety Commissions Fireworks Annual Report (2015).
Even if your state permits the use of fireworks, you may want to reconsider whether that would be a wise decision. Instead of a 'do-it-yourself' fireworks show, your family could sit back, relax and enjoy the display so many local towns host. And you have the added comfort of knowing your family is not in harm's way.
Think Before You Grill
An unattended grill engulfed in flames
Summertime is synonymous with grilling and barbecues. There is no better way to spend the day with family and friends in the comfort of your backyard on a hot summer night than a tasty barbecue made up of good food, good cooks and good company in a great atmosphere. However it is important we take precautions when dealing with open flames and propane gas. Here are some simple Dos & Don'ts to ensure a safe and enjoyable time. Here is What You Should Do: 1. Keep you grill at least 10 feet away from your home, the further the better. Also ensure grills are not underneath wooden overhangs.2. Make sure you clean your grill on a regular basis. Grease and fat buildup will provide more fuel to the fire.3. Always check for gas leaks. By simply rubbing soapy water on the gas hose and connections, you will be able to determine if there is a gas leak. If the soap begins to form large bubbles there is a leak.4. Keep decorations away from your grill. Summer décor like hanging baskets and banners look nice but they are flammable items and should be kept at a good distance.5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy for minor flare ups.6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple of steps from the grill and make sure you know how to use it in the event of a larger fire. And Now For What You Should Never Do: 1. Never turn on the gas while the grill lid is closed. This is a huge No-No as a closed lid filled with gas will cause an explosion when the lid is opened and the gas is exposed to oxygen.2. Never leave a grill unattended to avoid unintended consequences.3. Never overload your grill with fatty meats that drip on the flames and cause a flare-up. 4. Never use a grill indoors, its design as an outdoor kitchen!
Water Damage Tip for Property Owners
Water Damage Response Tips for Home Owners:
(These tips are for Category 1 water situations ONLY, which is water that originates from a sanitary source and poses no substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure.)
- Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the home/building, when access to the power panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove excess water by mopping or blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove Oriental or other colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Do not use a regular vacuum to remove water.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of areas where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
- Do not leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpeting.
Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. If you have any questions or need help to ensure your property is drying properly, contact SERVPRO of Framingham (508) 370-4400.
We Are Green and Clean with Benefect
The consumer today has increasingly been more aware of the chemicals in their products than ever before. Now SERVPRO of Framingham is offering safe alternatives.
Benefect, the world's first government registered hospital disinfectant using the essential oils from plants. Today their technology can be found in many products including naturally based cleaners and alcohol-free hand sanitizer.
In nature, plants produce germ-killing essential oils to protect themselves from invading microbes, similar to how our bodies produce antibodies for our protection against disease. Benefect is a revolutionary blend of these antimicrobial extracts, particularly from the herb Thyme. Disinfectants typically use quaternary amines, bleach, or even synthetic thymol to kill germs. Remarkably, Benefect kills over 99.99% of germs using only food-grade plant extracts. Benefect is a 'plant immune system' in a bottle.
- Kills 99.99% of Germs.
- No Label Warnings or Signal Words.
- Made from Plant Extracts.
- No Synthetic Ingredients.
- No Rinse or Wipe Required
What is a Sewer Backup?
While floods are probably best known for causing extensive water damage to homes and businesses, they can also cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to back up into houses through drain pipes. These backups not only cause damage that is difficult and expensive to repair, but also create health hazards.
Most homeowners and business owners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral – the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located under the street, and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that may extend into the street or public right of way. A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to the possible sewer backup problems.
A sewer backup can lead to disease, destruction of your valuables, damage to your house or business, and can even result in electrical malfunctions. Prompt cleanup of the affected property can help minimize the inconvenience and prevent mold and further damage.
That’s where SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley can help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sewage backup should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. We are the water damage restoration specialists with specific training and expertise to safely restore your home or business.
6 Common Causes of Flooding
Flooding is not only aggravating but it is also can ruin your possessions, significantly affect your home’s structure, and necessitate extensive repairs. Here are 6 of the most common causes of residential flooding.
- Broken Pipes
Just one water leak can signal major flooding problems in the future — it only takes minutes for a broken pipe to send water gushing into your home. It’s important to be cautious of even minor leaks and to know where your home’s main valve to shut off the water is located in case of an emergency.
- Poor Drainage
Not only are floods caused by improper drainage a huge inconvenience, it’s a hazard that can ruin your flooring, walls, and fixtures.
- Clogged Rain Gutters
A house’s rain gutters are meant to divert excess water away from it, but if the gutters are clogged with debris the chances of flooding rise significantly. Heavy rainfall and rain gutters filled with dirt and debris lead to a messy situation that can end up costing you a lot of money in repairs. It’s best to be proactive and regularly clean your gutters.
- Malfunctioning Appliances
An improperly connected or broken water heater, dishwasher, or washing machine can wreak havoc on your home and flood it with water. Its important to ensure there are no leaks or problems with the water supply to your major appliances.
- Damaged Foundation
If your home’s foundation is damaged with flaws or cracking, it can allow water to enter through the floors. A house’s foundation is always resting on the ground, even when it becomes over-saturated with water from storms, melted ice and snow, or other precipitation. Homes resting on good, solid foundations aren’t usually affected, but damaged foundations can lead to severe floods.
- The Weather
This is the one cause of flooding that you really can’t do much about, aside from having an emergency weather plan, a good foundation, and a functioning pump.
While some causes of flooding are hard to control, most are preventable. Knowing the common causes of home flooding and being proactive can save a great deal of stress and money in the long run.
The Damaging Affects of a Hailstorm
Hailstorms can damage your business, your car and your home. Although they are easy to spot, most of us are unaware of how large hailstones can be. The size of a hailstone can range anywhere from1/4 of an inch - 4 1/2 inches in diameter. That is equivalent to the size of a pea (¼ inch) and the size of a softball (4 ½ inch). Average hailstorms typically have pellets ranging from ¾ of an inch or smaller, comparable to the size of a nickel. Often this fact leads to little concern from homeowners, however hailstones the size of nickels can be damaging, especially when they are falling anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 feet at speeds of 120 mph.
During a hailstorm, your house is susceptible to damage with your roof being at most risk. It is important to check for hail damage immediately after a hailstorm has occurred. You should also inspect your siding, windows, rain gutters, and roof to see if any repairs are needed.
When a storm hits your home or business, you need help immediately. SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesleys' quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.
Tornadoes May Be More Dangerous Than Hurricanes
Although they may be known as the mother of all storms when they wallop U.S. coastlines, hurricanes seem to be taking a vacation -- while their more narrowly focused but fiercer cousins, tornadoes are grab the headlines.
With Accuweather redicting a below-average hurricane season for 2017, this could be the year when tornado damage actually exceeds that of hurricanes. Tornadoes, which lately seem to be an almost everyday occurrence, are all over the news. In addition to tearing up the Plains and Southeast, they’ve even reached as far north as New England in recent years.
Hurricane season encompasses the six months of summer and fall, starting June 1 and ending Nov. 30, but tornadoes can pose a danger year-round. Spring is usually considered the prime time for twisters, but don’t say that in Georgia or Florida, which had a cyclone epidemic in January. That month, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported 138 tornadoes, a sharp jump from the January average of only 35 a year for the period of 1991 to 2010.
If a storm strikes your business or home, call SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley and we’ll respond immediately to your flood and storm damage emergencies.
Portable Classrooms and Mold
It is very common for school districts to be faced with the growing student population and how to keep up with accommodating classroom space for students. Portable classrooms are typically the immediate resolution as they are a low initial cost to the school budget and are temporary fix. Though more often than not, they become part of the schools permanent fixture.
Although portable classrooms are easier for town taxes there are raising concerns about the healthfulness of portable classrooms
The most common problems with portable classrooms include:
- Poorly functioning HVAC systems that provide minimal ventilation with outside air
- Poor acoustics from loud ventilation systems
- Chemical off-gassing from pressed wood and other high-emission materials, which may be of greater concern because of rapid occupancy after construction
- Water entry and mold growth
- Site pollution from nearby parking lots or loading areas
A real concern is exposing students and teachers to mold and mildew. SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley is here to help. Please call us at 617-332-9000 if you suspect mold in your business, school or home and we will safely remedy the situation.
Classes of Mold
Although mold is everywhere and quite unsightly, thankfully not all molds are harmful to us. Molds are often found in wet, damp places and can vary in color and smell. These classes are similar to risk groups assigned to microorganisms handled in laboratory environments. Mold is put into different categories based on their hazard:
Hazard Class A: includes fungi or their metabolic products that are highly hazardous to health. These fungi or metabolites should not be present in occupied dwellings. Presence of these fungi in occupied buildings requires immediate attention.
Hazard class B: includes those fungi which may cause allergic reactions to occupants if present indoors over a long period. Hazard Class B: These are molds that if endured over long periods of time can cause allergic reactions
Hazard Class C: includes fungi not known to be a hazard to health. Growth of these fungi indoors, however, may cause economic damage and therefore should not be allowed.
If you feel like your home or business might be affected by mold, give SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley a call at 617-332-9000. While we cannot determine what type of mold it may be – we can remediate it with no worry and restore your home and business back to the way it was.